To: An Open Letter to all elected and Appointed Officials
Fr; Patrick H. Freeman Sports Director Mix 1080AM WUFO Radio and President of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex LLC
Re; City of Buffalo Potential Stadium Sites
I’m writing you this letter to emphasize the serious time constraint Western New York is under in relation to the future of professional sports in Western New York. For close to three years many of the elected and appointed officials dismissed my warnings of the requirements to keep pro football in WNY past the Ralph Wilson era of ownership. Do you remember that it was me who said do not renovate Ralph Wilson Stadium? This same elected leader brought me into a meeting with his best public works commissioners, and they assured me that RWS would last another 25 years.
This is the problem in all due respect to all of the great appointed commissioners of this region, how many of them cover an NFL team on a daily basis for the last twenty years? How many have covered the last 14 Super Bowls and had the privilege of having private conversations with the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay about what it would take to keep pro football in Western New York past the Ralph Wilson era? How many have the expertise of HKS Inc. who came here and toured many potential sites and selected the Outer Harbor Land Site?
Believe me I respect the fact that you can fit a stadium into the mentioned sites, but will those sites please the rest of the NFL owners that must approve of this plan for the future of the NFL brand and land you consideration for a future Super Bowl that has the earning potential of $ 642 Million?
2. By building just a stadium you limit future events that this region would qualify for
3. Infrastructure cost let’s say $800 million top number
7 years- $114.28 Million per year partnered with the Federal, State, County, and city= $28.571 Million per year around the same amount as the tax subsidy to the Bills. Also the same amount as the buy out in year seven of the lease extension
4. Cost of Building the Complex falls on the Developer of 1Billion dollars of Private money.
5. 1.8 Billion dollar development which would create 8,000- 15,000 Living wage jobs over 5-7 years!!!!
6. The Developer has pledged 10% of the profits of this project to the stakeholder, or stakeholders. For example
a. Lucas Oil Stadium had some 146 extra events a year since it’s opening bringing in an additional $450 Million in revenue / 10%= $45 Million per year to be divided with the stakeholders of this project
b. Tax Revenue would jump through the roof with this Complex
c. Your Anchor Tenant would become the Strong Museum of Rochester which would bring a one of a kind History of Sport Museum and Culture to the city of Buffalo, and the region of Western New York which draws more than 600,000 people to their world renown facility in Rochester
d. New Convention center built with private Dollars which would give you what everyone in this region has known for years a better facility which would put us in competition with other cities for events that we do not qualify for now.
e. Brand New Privately Financed hotel attached to your new convention space.
f. Retail Space
g. Finally a multi-use facility attached to your new convention area which will draw from the energy of all of the great things in the city of Buffalo and become an engine of further economic expansion for the region
In Closing this has to be the vision that we have to convince the NFL board of Governors to stay in Western New York, which is proximity to millions of people and an International border city with such a rich American history that has produced two presidents. This is the argument we have to make this case to all officials and win it. There is one site that fits the blueprint that we need to prevail and that is the Outer Harbor land site which by the way is similar to the one in the windy city of Chicago who has worse winters than we do. No other site in Western New York gives you what you need to make this economic case.
Example 2 Build at the other site. What you will lose???
1. If you choose a stadium only site chances are you will lose the opportunity to have Strong Museum expand to your area with their vision for a One of a kind in North America History of Sport Museum. This attraction is your real anchor tenant that outdraws 29 other NFL teams a year. Imagine what they will draw in the International border city of Buffalo??? Also this site would cost you massive infrastructure improvements.
2. You will lose a privately funded new 200,000 square foot Convention center
3.You will lose Privately funded new Hotel and Conference Center
4 You will lose . New Outer Harbor Retail Space privately funded
5. You will lose the 1 Billion dollars of private funding which is on the table and ready to go now.
6. Site must be in Shovel ready condition also
7. Stadium only cost will be around 1 Billion dollars plus you will have to pay 3-400 Million in Infrastructure improvements. You are now at 1.4 Billion of Publicly financed development.
The best offer that is on the Table is the Outer Harbor Stadium Complex proposal by the GBSEC/HKS inc., and what is needed is 9-12 month option to complete their due diligence on the site, and they can give you a professional opinion on why those other sites will not meet the NFL requirement.. It is my hope reading that all elected officials need to get on board with this proposal, and broker the Outer Harbor Compromise.
Patrick H. Freeman
Sports Director Mix 1080AM WUFO radio
And President of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex LLC
If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.