Developer hopes to lure Buffalo Bills with new stadium proposal

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nicholas Stracick figures if he builds it, the Buffalo Bills will stay.

Stracick, CEO and president of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex, unveiled a proposal on Tuesday to build a $1.4 billion waterfront sports and entertainment facility that would include a 70,000-plus-seat, retractable-roofed stadium to one day serve as the Bills new home.

In making a presentation to a city council committee, Stracick said his plan has the potential to change the Buffalo's rust-belt image and preserve the Bills long-term future in western New York.

"Buffalo's been backward the last 50 years. It's gone nowhere," Stracick said. "This stadium is going to change the city of Buffalo."

Stracick's company has already spent about $1 million in hiring a leading sports facility architectural firm, Dallas-based HKS Design, to design a site plan. HKS has designed numerous stadiums, including the Dallas Cowboys' new facility, and the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

Once that's approved, Stracick then intends to approach Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Bills and the NFL.

It didn't matter to Stracick that his proposal runs counter to the Bills' immediate plans.


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"The Bills will move in once the thing is built," Stracick said. "Don't worry about it. It's done."

The Bills are in negotiations with state and county officials to renew their lease of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., which expires in July. There's a potential the parties will have to reach a one-year lease extension after talks stalled this summer.

"We continue to meet with county and state officials and have had productive sessions," Bills CEO Russ Brandon said, referring to lease talks.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown favors the Bills returning to Buffalo, where they played for the first 13 seasons.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press