It's a big day in Buffalo Bills history. First-look renderings of the new Bills Stadium were released Thursday morning, showcasing the state of the art stadium set to be completed by fall of 2026.
The two renderings that were released are only scratching the surface of what amenities and exciting features that the stadium will offer once completed.
Bills EVP/Chief Operating Officer Ron Raccuia spoke Thursday, detailing specific aspects of the renderings and what fans should look forward to about the enhanced game day experience.
Q: How much will renderings change?
Raccuia : "I think it's effectively the stadium. We spent a lot of time. We didn't want to put things out there that we weren't really solid about. We're solid with what we put out there today. Well, there'll be minor tweaks, of course, there'll be minor tweaks really, right up until the finishing of construction. But what you're seeing today is what we believe to be the fundamental aspects of the new stadium."
Q: How much of the stadium is covered by the canopy?
Raccuia: "Right now the renderings with the canopy covers 65% of all seats. Which is right in line with what we've been saying from day one, and we're really excited about that."
Q: Was the canopy designed to protect from weather elements?
Raccuia: "Yeah, and wind. The canopy is a huge component to mitigate the wind factors of the new stadium and it works in concert with the exterior skin to prevent the swirling and the winds to get down onto the field level. We think this is the most effective canopy. It covers the most amount of people while doing everything else that we needed to do."
The Bills unveiled the first two renderings for the new stadium scheduled to open in 2026.
Q: What are some features you're excited about that aren't shown in the renderings?
Raccuia: "You're now seeing what we've been talking about for months, right? The interior spaces that are temperature controlled, they're really cool looking. Clubs that aren't just exclusive clubs or VIP, but they're for everybody. How do we make it loud, vibrating, colorful, the hardest place in the NFL to play?
Those are the things that will show you in some of the design elements that are probably bringing everybody closer to the field by having noise reverberate. We talked about a stack design before and you see that now in this image but when you see deeper images, you're going to see how steep and how close to the field it is."
Q: What are the goals for having multiple seating options?
Raccuia: "Oh dozens. At Highmark, we basically have three different seating options: we have general seating, we have clubs, and we have suites.
Now, we're gonna have dozens of options in different price points, different locations with different amenities, different experiences throughout there. That's what's continuing to be developed every day. We think we're in a good spot with it. We, as you can tell by some of that, like the end zones are going to be really impactful."
Q: How will fans be able to choose their viewing experience within the stadium?
Raccuia : "We will have a sales center, a fully developed state of the art Virtual Reality experiential sales center that will take every fan that will take every fan through and they will get to experience what the new stadium is going to look like, from their door to their seat. We will be able to show them the best routes to drive new parking options where they want to sit. What's important to them from a food and beverage and a tailgate standpoint. That way when a fan is in our sales center, they will be able to custom design the experience that they're looking for and how they want to experience Bills stadium and Bills football going forward."
Q: How much effort was put into designing the outside of the stadium?
Raccuia: "No. 1, we wanted to honor what is important to Western New Yorkers. Architecture and our history is what makes this community special, one of the many things that makes it special. We wanted to carry that over into the new stadium. But we also wanted to make sure it was modern for the next 30 years, it was effective in terms of managing wind and precipitation and creating a more comfortable atmosphere."
Q: What's the material of the outside and how will that help?
Raccuia: "It's multiple types of material there is glass. There is perforated metal, which helps with diminishing the wind factor that's critically important. There's brick, there's a lot of steel, it is very diverse."
Q: What about the additional space outside the stadium as well as the giant Buffalo statues?
Raccuia: "We want people to come to the stadium, whether they have a ticket or not and experience game day. There'll be food and beverage outside the gates. There'll be entertainment outside the gates.
As for the Buffaloes, I have no idea how big they are. But they are gigantic. That what you're seeing to scale is representative. So that's going to be fun that plaza right now — you're gonna hear us refer to that plaza as the Family Circle. That's what we're calling it generically. But that's a community gathering place. We think that's a place for 365 days a year for this community to come. And not only celebrate Bills football, but celebrate everything about the community, the history of Western New York."
Scroll through our photographers' best images from the Bills 5-1 start.