Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of Bills Stadium prior to an AFC Divisional Round game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills pursuing new stadium in Orchard Park

The Buffalo Bills are laying the groundwork to build a new stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., WROC-TV of Rochester reported Saturday.

The team investigated a move to downtown Buffalo but has decided to stay in Orchard Park, its home since 1973. Their lease at Highmark Stadium runs out after the 2023 season.

The venue, previously called Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, New Era Field and Bills Stadium, is the fourth-oldest in the National Football League, after Soldier Field in Chicago, Lambeau Field in Green Bay and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Plans call for a new stadium to be open to the harsh Buffalo elements, with a partial covering for stands.

Per the report, the project still needs to secure funding and government approvals before construction can begin. The timeline could be as long as five years for a new stadium.

Should the project proceed, the Bills would need to extend the lease at Highmark Stadium or find a temporary home, with Toronto and Penn State University both possibilities, the station said.

Toronto is about a two-hour drive from Buffalo; Penn State four.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during Super Bowl week in 2020 that the Bills need a stadium similar to those of other NFL teams.

“I think everyone’s committed to that,” he said, “whether it’s a new significant renovation or whether it’s a completely new facility in a new location.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of Bills Stadium prior to the game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills planning new outdoor stadium in Orchard Park

The Buffalo Bills are planning to build a new outdoor stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., WROC TV reported Friday.

The open-air facility would include partial covering for seating areas and would require 3-5 years to finish, opening as soon as 2025 but more likely in 2026 or 2027.

The report said downtown Buffalo was given strong consideration as a building site, but remaining in Orchard Park is more cost effective.

“The team still needs to obtain government approvals in a variety of areas, including funding. All of which could delay the timeline,” read the report.

The Bills have played at their current stadium, now called Highmark Stadium, since 1973. It is the fourth-oldest NFL stadium presently in use behind Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium (opened in 1972), Green Bay’s Lambeau Field (1957) and Chicago’s Soldier Field (1924).

Highmark Stadium has previously been known as Bills Stadium, New Era Field, Ralph Wilson Stadium and Rich Stadium.

The Bills’ current lease at Highmark Stadium expires in 2023. To bridge the gap until the opening of a new facility, the team could either extend the lease with Erie County and New York or potentially play home games in Toronto or at Penn State University in State College, Pa., per the report.

–Field Level Media