Ron Raccuia, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Bills, joined WGR 550 Monday morning to discuss important updates for the New Bills Stadium project, expected to be completed for the 2026 season.
Among the most relevant details that emerged from the conversation is that Raccuia shared they are inching closer to being able to release renderings of the new stadium.
"We're very close to showing what the stadium is going to look like from the outside and the inside," he said.
What Bills fans can expect to see once the renderings are public is a plan to create a stadium that will be one of the best experiences to see an NFL game at. From tailgating, to concessions, to the viewing experience, it will be a place Bills fans can call home from Day 1.
"An unbelievable home field advantage and an atmosphere that will be second-to-none in the NFL," Raccuia said.
As steps have been taken to determine what to prioritize in building the new stadium, special consideration has been placed on how to create the most memorable fan experience. Over 14,000 fans in different focus groups were surveyed on amenities they wanted to see.
Among those priorities were temperature controlled spaces.
"Our fans wanted spaces that were conditioned," Raccuia said. "If you're not in a club, you're out in the elements from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. That's a long time without being able to go inside someplace and have conditioned spaces. We've designed (the stadium) to have conditioned space in every aspect: in the end zones, in the clubs, in the upper decks."
Another exciting aspect is the addition of a 360-degree enclosed canopy that extends all the way around the stadium and covers the overhead of many of the seats to reduce the impact felt by the weather elements. The canopy will specifically provide relief from the impact of wind while still making the stadium an open-air venue.
"It really takes that problem away," Raccuia said. "We've seen wind studies already that the wind impact inside this new stadium design is minimal, at best."
While working to tone down the effect of the elements, there's also been a priority set to improve the acoustic design of the stadium to maximize the crowd noise. Raccuia described the seating style as 'stacked', meaning more elevated views that actually reduce the distance between Bills fans and the field.
"The fans are going to be closer to the field at the new stadium than they are at Highmark," Raccuia said. "We feel Highmark is an unbelievable viewing experience but we feel it will be even better at the new stadium."
Easier access in and out of the stadium, wider walkways getting in and out of seats and revamped food and beverages spaces are also in the works, though details on those changes are still being finalized.
As for the tailgating for Bills Mafia, they can still expect to have a world-class time.
"The spaces will be more defined," he said. "There will be more medians and maybe grassy areas that people can experience differently."
PSE has been fine-tuning the designs and the construction arrangements over the summer and has a Sept. 1 deadline to reach long-form agreements with the state and the county for approval.
"Once those agreements are done, we can get right on getting the stadium done so it's ready for the 2026 season," Raccuia said.