BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named the first five members of a panel tasked with looking into the potential for building a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
Three of Cuomo's five appointees include Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
The move, first reported Monday by The Buffalo News, follows through on a promise Cuomo made in December 2012, when the Bills agreed to a new 10-year lease with the state and Erie County to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. At that time, the governor said he would establish an advisory group to explore the potential of building a new stadium in western New York for the NFL franchise.
All three parties – New York State, Erie County and the Bills – can each appoint seven members to the board, which thus could have up to 21 members. Howard B. Glaser, director of state operations and senior policy adviser to the governor asked, in a letter a letter to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon, for a meeting "within the next two weeks" with the county's and Bills' representatives, to get the process started.
The current stadium is undergoing $130 million in renovations.