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County lawmakers appear in favor of stadium deal

WBFO News by photo Mike Desmond

Erie County Legislators' suggested plans for a major renovation of the football stadium in Orchard Park will stay on track and approval could take place next week. A phalanx of county and Buffalo Bills officials turned out for a briefing to the Legislature's Economic Development Committee Tuesday about the plans for renovating the stadium and its facilities.

The actual renovation is to cost $130 million and be finished in about two years.  The lease renewal is for ten years.  A committee will look at building a new stadium, either on the current site or somewhere else, a much more expensive proposition than renovation.

Bills President Russ Brandon said if the Legislature approves the stadium deal, planning will move forward to construction after this season.

"It'll be negligible when it comes to what our fans will experience.  Most of the work in 2013 will be focused on infrastructure work and code compliance and issues of that nature. A majority of the work that the common fan will experience will be in 2014, the majority of that in the off-season," said Brandon.

Brandon admits if the Bills make it into the playoffs this season, those attending games might be moving around construction and he's hoping that might happen.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.