Supporters call Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex a “big-thinking project”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Craig W. Turner, 716.713.7686
BUFFALO, NY (May 8) – Supporters of a proposal to build a waterfront stadium and entertainment complex have reinvigorated their efforts to see the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex (GBSEC) become a reality. This week, the group announced a new media and outreach campaign designed to create awareness and build support for the project.
“The development of a new multi-sport stadium, entertainment, convention and cultural complex in Buffalo takes time, and decisions are being made as we speak,” said George Hasiotis, of GBSEC, LLC, which introduced the community to the waterfront stadium proposal in 2012. “It is our intent to partner with our community’s elected and civic leaders to make this exciting proposal a reality, to strengthen Buffalo’s national image in the world of sports and entertainment. We believe that to effectively advance sports and entertainment in Western New York, a downtown destination is a necessity, and have recruited the award-winning designers at HKS to bring their talents to Buffalo.”
HKS is a professional design firm founded in 1939 with 27 worldwide offices, bringing significant experience in stadium/community development, with renowned success, having designed award-winning facilities Dallas (AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys) and Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts), as well as current highly-anticipated projects in Minneapolis, Oakland, Australia and Dubai. Working with GBSEC, HKS has designed a comprehensive waterfront destination for Buffalo’s long vacant Outer Harbor that includes a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose stadium for Buffalo.
“GBSEC is not simply a stadium solution,” said Hasiotis. “It’s a comprehensive project designed not only to keep football here for the next half-century, but to create demand on the waterfront that will attract in- and out-of-market visitors all year long. We are envisioning over 100 non-football events to be scheduled at the facility in the off-football season and well over 2 million visitors per year.”
The project designed by HKS includes not only a 72,000-seat stadium – an iconic, green facility with a retractable dome, plenty of parking and access to light rail transportation – but also a conference/convention center, hotel and the North American Museum of Sport & Culture, which will be designed and operated by Rochester’s Strong Museum. The complex would be situated on approximately 150 acres and surrounded by over 200 acres of green space, park amenities and lakeshore access completely open to the public and maintained by private financing.
WATERFRONT STADIUM COMPLEX PROPOSAL REINVIGORATES EFFORTS
“Here is the component of GBSEC that should be of most interest to taxpayers and their representatives: GBSEC is privately financed. Though our partnership with HKS, their financing affiliates and preliminary agreements with pension fund investment managers, our professional team has already formulated a preliminary financing plan and we expect to deliver the private funding needed for the majority of the financing for this $1.7-plus billion dollar project,” said Hasiotis. “Which means that the decision to support GBSEC as a solution to our community’s stadium dilemma is not about raising taxes or justifying spending taxpayers’ money. It’s about advancing sports and entertainment opportunities in Buffalo and at the same time creating the biggest economic driver Buffalo has seen in decades. In line with the experience of the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium currently in construction and the recent Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, we can expect over 8,000 full-time, living wage jobs for at least seven years during the build out period and then thousands of permanent and part time jobs once completed.”
GBSEC has requested that the City of Buffalo, and the State of New York work together to extend a land option for this site, which would allow HKS to move forward with privately-funded environmental, traffic, economic impact studies and other due diligence needed to pave the way for the development of the complex. The City of Buffalo has already acted in support of this project. Last year the Buffalo Common Council passed a unanimous resolution of support for extension of an Outer Harbor land option and for the due diligence review by HKS. Late last year, the Council leadership sent a clear letter of support and notice to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL Stadium Committee that the City of Buffalo wants to work with the league to create a best in league venue for football. In its resolution of support, the Council sent notice to Governor Cuomo, as well, as to the direction the City intends to pursue with respect to the location of a new stadium and the desire to build a facility that creates economic advantages far beyond the limitations of a football-only stadium.
“We fully believe that with Buffalo’s rich sports history, an all season stadium complex design that is iconic and woven into the fabric of the community, and HKS’ clout and reputation, GBSEC is a project that this community can be proud of,” said Hasiotis. “These days, cities and regions that want to play on a national stage must think big, but most important of all, we have a comprehensive new model that works best for the taxpayers of WNY. We believe that the days of taxpayer giveaways for limited utility sports facilities are over.”
For media availability for Mr. Hasiotis, please contact Craig W. Turner, 716.713.7686
The Buffalo Bills and the NFL are not affiliated with Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex, LLC, its activities, plans and/or proposals. The Buffalo Bills and the NFL do not sponsor, approve or endorse the Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex, LLC, its activities, plans and/or proposals.