We’ve been discussing it for years. What a new home for the Buffalo Bills might look like, and where it might go. From the Cobblestone District, to the East Side to the Outer Harbor, everyone seems to have their own ideas regarding the future of The Bills – some even say that The Bills should stay where they are, while still others have even suggested common a more common ground in Niagara Falls. Regardless as to whether you think that The Bills should stay put, or head elsewhere in Erie County, there is a team of Bills site experts being formed who will be heading up a search for the optimum location.
Today Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced his seven members (New York State and the Bills are also allotted seven slots for the committee) as per the 2013 lease negotiated between Erie County, New York State and the Buffalo Bills. Along with Poloncarz, the following “Erie County” members have been appointed to the new stadium committee.
· Richard Tobe, Deputy County Executive, Erie County
· Maria R. Whyte, Commissioner of Environment and Planning, Erie County
· Kathleen Hochul, Vice President, M&T Bank Corporation
· Michael Joseph, President, Clover Management, Inc.
· Alphonso O’Neil-White, Retired President & CEO of HealthNow New York Inc.
· Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
“The individuals who will be representing Erie County in the upcoming stadium discussions are all fervent Bills fans and Erie County residents, as well as community members who are cognizant of the economic realities facing Erie County and the business realities of the National Football League,” said Poloncarz. “The Bills have been a vital part of our community fabric for over 50 years, and we look forward to working with our counterparts from the Governor’s and the Bills’ selections to the New Stadium Working Group as we cement the long-term future of the Bills here in Erie County.”
In February, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Empire State Development President Kenneth Adams. The Bills have yet to announce their selections. Once the 21-person team is in place, meetings will commence that will ultimately help to decide the fate of the team’s future in Buffalo.
Photo: Poloncarz at the Bills home opener in 2013