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Poloncarz on new stadium: 'There's been no gun put to the head of Erie County and NYS'

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz appears before a microphone in a gray suit, white shirt and lavender tie before a backdrop with the Erie County seal on it
Erie County
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the owners of the Buffalo Bills never threatened to move the team if they didn't get a new taxpayer-paid stadium.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Wednesday said there are a lot of people talking about stadium negotiations, but they don't know what's going on. He said the team isn't packing up for a move to Texas and there will be a deal on a stadium "here."

The lease runs out in 2023 and there are a lot of people who think there should be a new stadium, perhaps with New York State kicking in$1 billion or more to pay for it.

The county executive said there are negotiations about the future, they will take time and he has no deadline to get it done. He said Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn't directly involved in the talks, although he is aware of what is going on.

But the team has not threatened to move.

"At no time has the team representative said, 'If you do not build this and pay for it, we are moving.' They have not said that," Poloncarz said. "I want the public to understand, there's been no gun put to the head of Erie County and New York State, stating, 'If you do not do this, we are moving.'"

Poloncarz wrote a book about the last round of negotiations a decade ago. They were complicated and fractious, with Albany eventually kicking in $130 million for renovation of the current and aging facility in Orchard Park.

He wants current negotiations to result in a contract that's fair for all parties.

"Bills fans to ensure the Bills are playing in Buffalo, but also the citizens of Erie County," he said. "There is no blank check. There will hopefully be a compromise in which we all come together, one way or another and do what's best for this community and ensure the integrity of the football team as the Buffalo Bills for decades to come."

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.