Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; A Buffalo Bills fan holds up a sign for quarterback Josh Allen (not pictured) and wide receiver Stefon Diggs (not pictured) prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills submit paperwork for new stadium by 2027

The stadium proposal to give the Buffalo Bills a new home in Orchard Park, N.Y., calls for completion by 2027, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

Bills ownership, headed by Terry and Kim Pegula, have submitted plans for a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium to state and Erie County.

The number of seats is about 12,000 fewer than Highmark Stadium, the stadium in Orchard Park that has been home to the Bills since 1973.

According to reports, Pegula Sports and Entertainment is seeking public money to cover the majority of costs.

The Bills’ lease at Highmark Stadium expires in July of 2023. The Pegula group has expressed that it won’t negotiate a lease extension on Highmark Stadium until a new stadium deal is in place.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently said the Bills need a new stadium funded by a public/private partnership.

“You’ve got to think long-term here,” Goodell told the media at Bills legend Jim Kelly’s celebrity golf tournament on Aug. 23 in Buffalo. “This has been going on for decades, and it’s time to get a new stadium done that we can make sure the Bills are here and successful for many, many decades going forward.”

The proposed site for a new stadium in Orchard Park is close to Highmark Stadium, which has gone by a variety of names over the years, including Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium and New Era Field.

The Bills, behind star quarterback Josh Allen, open the upcoming season at home on Sept. 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Field Level Media

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

Nov 29, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; A general view of SoFi Stadium exterior during the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Rams, Chargers discuss stadium alternatives with NFL

The Rams and Chargers are discussing their stadium options for the rest of the season should they be forced out of the Los Angeles area because of COVID-19 restrictions, Yahoo Sports reported Friday.

Last week, Santa Clara County banned pro and college teams from practicing or playing games, forcing the San Francisco 49ers to play their home games in Arizona. Now, with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Southern California, the Rams and Chargers need a backup to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

The home stadiums of the Las Vegas Raiders and Dallas Cowboys have been mentioned as potential home sites for the two Los Angeles teams.

A regional stay-at-home order could take effect in Southern California as soon as next week, depending on availability of intensive-care unit beds. If that happens, all non-essential travel will be banned.

Los Angeles County broke a record on Thursday for daily coronavirus cases with 7,713.

“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday in a news conference. “If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see our death rate climb (and have) more lives lost.”

SoFi Stadium opened this season and has yet to host fans. The teams have a combined six games left on their home schedules.

The Rams (7-4) are scheduled to host the New England Patriots (Dec. 10), New York Jets (Dec. 20) and Arizona Cardinals (Jan. 3). The Chargers (3-8) close with the Patriots (Dec. 6), Atlanta Falcons (Dec. 13) and Denver Broncos (Dec. 27).

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Atlanta Falcons logo is shown in an end zone before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons to use drones to clean stadium after games

The Atlanta Falcons will employ drones to clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium after games, starting with the team’s Oct. 11 date with the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers game will be the first with a limited amount of fans welcomed back to the stadium amid the coronavirus pandemic.

AMB Sports and Entertainment is partnering with a North Carolina-based Lucid Drone Technologies, which offers D1 disinfecting drones. Two drones will be used to clean the stadium with a third on stand-by as a backup.

“The process of welcoming fans back involves actively listening and responding to their concerns and we understand that proper cleaning and sanitization protocols are top of mind in the current environment,” AMB COO Dietmar Exler said in a release. “We have worked tirelessly to provide a safe environment for not only our associates, players and staff, but especially our fans.”

According to the release, the drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles to distribute medical-grade disinfecting chemicals — including an inhibitor that prevents harmful bacteria and viruses from adhering to surfaces without leaving a residue.

The drones will be used for post-event disinfecting of the seating bowl, handrails and glass partitions at the stadium, per the release. The drones will reduce the amount of time it takes to clean the stadium by 95 percent.

–Field Level Media

Aug 29, 2019; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) greets fans during Tiger Walk prior to a game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson football to allow 19,000 fans in stadium

Clemson football will play its home games this fall with about one-quarter of the usual number of fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The university announced it will limit attendance at 81,500-seat Memorial Stadium, known as “Death Valley,” to about 19,000 fans. They will be scattered in small clusters of two or four people, and all fans must wear masks.

“Clemson sought input from external medical, public health and facility planning experts during the process, as well as the University Strategic Operations Group,” athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a news release. “With the information available today, we are confident in our ability to safely allow fans at games, which is incredibly important to our student-athletes, coaches, fans and local community. We’ll continue to monitor guidance and make adjustments if necessary.”

The announcement was welcomed by players.

“We thought it was just going to be us out there. To be able to have just that amount of people is a huge blessing,” defensive back Andrew Booth said. An empty stadium “would feel like we were out there doing scrimmages. This is going to be beautiful.”

Clemson, the No. 1 team in the nation in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, is scheduled to open its home season on Sept. 19 against The Citadel.

–Field Level Media