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Hochul suggests Bills stadium deal should be done in time for state budget

An empty Highmark Stadium shown from above.
Buffalo Bills

Gov. Kathy Hochul says there are are a few things left to resolve, but she expects an agreement for a new Buffalo Bills home stadium by the time state lawmakers need to pass a new budget.

Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula seek to build a new stadium next to the pro football franchise’s current home, Highmark Stadium, in Orchard Park. The estimated cost of the new facility is a little less than $1.4 billion.

Hochul says most of the project’s conditions have been agreed upon, but a few more details and issues remain to be settled.

“A lot of those have been resolved. But now we're just getting down to the mechanics, the nuts and bolts and the longevity of the lease and terms. So, we're working very hard,” the governor said. “This is an important priority of mine. And I want to commend the owners for just working so closely with us as well.”

Hundreds of millions of public dollars are expected to be part of the financing formula. But Hochul wouldn’t get into specifics when asked how much of a commitment would come from taxpayers.

“My priority is to keep the Buffalo Bills here, as well as ensure that we're making smart investments,” she said.

The state's new fiscal year begins April 1.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.