New Highmark Stadium

Updated: 07.05.2024

Target capacity62 000
Country United States of America
CityBuffalo
ClubsBuffalo Bills
CategoryConstruction in progress
Construction 2023–2026
Cost $1.7 B
Design Populous
Contractor Gilbane Building Company, Turner Construction Company

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New Highmark Stadium – construction description

How did the construction of the new Buffalo Bills stadium come about?

The Buffalo Bills' existing facility, Highmark Stadium, opened in 1973 and is one of the longest-used venues among current NFL stadiums. The construction of a new stadium for the team has been under discussion for some time, and in 2014 a special team was set up to work on the project, made up of Buffalo Bills representatives, local politicians or businessmen.

Several different locations were considered for the new stadium, besides the idea of building near the existing facility, a location in downtown Buffalo was also seriously considered. In the end, however, it was agreed that the new stadium would be built right next to Highmark Stadium, on the other side of Abbott Road. The new ground lease is to run for 30 years.

In March 2022 it was announced that a funding model had been agreed, and shortly afterwards the renowned design studio Populous was engaged to work on the project. The first renderings of the new stadium were released in October 2022, and the companies responsible for the construction work, Gilbane Building Company and Turner Construction Company, in partnership with 34 Group, were also subsequently selected.

What will the new Buffalo Bills stadium be like?

The architectural concept for the new Buffalo Bills stadium can be seen on a separate subpage

The new facility will have a capacity of 62,000 spectators, almost 10,000 fewer than its predecessor. The stadium will thus rank among the smallest in the NFL league. However, comfort and visibility will be improved, and spectators will be able to enjoy a more diverse range of seating choices. From the outside, the facility is intended to be reminiscent of local architecture.

The stands will be divided into multiple levels and will be roofed at the top (the roof will cover 65% of the seats). Full roofing was abandoned not only because of the high cost of such a solution, but also because broadcasts from snowy Buffalo have often attracted attention and have almost become part of the Bills' image.

How much will the new Buffalo Bills stadium cost?

The cost of the investment was initially estimated at $1.4 billion, with later reports of further increases, reaching a figure of $1.7 billion. New York State and Erie County's share is expected to total $850 million – at the time of the announcement, this was a record amount of taxpayer funding for the construction of a stadium for an NFL team, although a design for a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans unveiled shortly thereafter called for an even larger public subsidy ($1.26 billion).

How is the construction of the new Buffalo Bills stadium progressing?

Site preparation work began in early May 2023, with the official groundbreaking ceremony taking place on June 5, 2023, with the facility scheduled to be ready in July 2026.

At the start of construction, a sizable pit was dug into the ground, giving the facility under construction the nickname 'The Pit'. There is even a humorous urban legend according to which the pit demands a sacrifice and, in order for the Bills to win, one of the fans must throw himself into the pit before every game.

The actual name of the new facility, however, is 'Highmark Stadium', thanks to an extended partnership with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is the title sponsor of the existing Buffalo Bills stadium (for the duration of construction, the new facility is to be referred to as 'New Highmark Stadium' for distinction).

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