by Pat Freeman
The immediate need in Western New York to choose a workable stadium land site that can accommodate the new partnership and formula necessary for a small market to afford an NFL franchise narrows very quickly, and brings us to the outer harbor waterfront site which is shovel ready . The private investment stadium complex proposal has already completed preliminary studies on site construction requirements for this area.
Remediation of this area which is a listed Brownfield has already been estimated and discussed with the appropriate environmental agency.
The connecting of Louisiana, Michigan, and Chicago by the building of bridges which would connect the inner and outer harbor thus extending the downtown business district to the outer harbor land site.
Extending Main Street over to the Outer Harbor land site is something that should have been done during the 1970’s when the area should have been developed. We have to accept the challenge of getting it done now to bring about economic change to Western New York. Thus, it is necessary to create a new Boulevard to reach the Outer Harbor land site.
Extend the existing Rail Station over to the Outer harbor Land Site which would increase ridership to the struggling Rapid Transit system that has never expanded its service since it was built.
We already have begun the connecting of Ohio Street to the land site area which now would give us seven ways in, and out of the land site. This would drastically improve game day traffic conditions that we experience at the existing Orchard Park site, which was listed as the second worse in the NFL in 2009 by the Tom Tom GPS game day traffic study.
This is where government needs to do what government is supposed to do in a democracy, and that is to partner with private industry. What we have in Western New York is a situation of economic exclusion to progressive regional ideas. Here you have a private proposal which changes the economic landscape of this region forever, and government rather than work with private industry to bring these strategic job producing plans into fruition seems to partner with special interest groups who have presented alternative plans that benefit the few and not the many. The great philosopher John Stuart Mill would be rolling over in his grave with these ideas.
The Outer Harbor private stadium complex proposal is more than four years ahead of the current stadium working group, and all studies have been funded with private money. Why are we not working with the private group while the new Stadium working group continues to meet? Yes it can be done easily by granting HKS Inc. 9-12 month land option in which time frame, they will complete all their studies and present a final package that will explain how this the largest construction project in Western New York history can be achieved.
The issue of the future of professional football is answered no matter who the owner is because the NFL owners will not allow any new owner to leave a city or region that has made this type of investment in a facility that improves the brand we know as the NFL. The honest truth that if history is consistent Buffalo will be awarded a Super Bowl because of this complex in which this region will gross between 500 million to a Billion dollars in revenue. Yes we are talking proud of our region because everybody will know why we are so loyal to the city on the lake looking over to the greatest tourist attraction in the world, Niagara Falls.
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