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An Erie County lawmaker wants to establish a new legislative committee to follow the needs of the area's professional sports teams.

West Seneca Democrat G. Steven Pigeon today called for formation of an a five-member ad hoc professional sports committee. The legislator said creation of the panel makes good sense in light of recent concerns from the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres regarding their facilities, and local efforts to bring professional baseball to Pilot Field.

"There's a lot happening out there that directly and indirectly involves Erie County, and we need to stay abreast of these developments," Pigeon said.

He said the proposed committee would also be able to work with County Executive Gorski's soon-to-be-named Rich Stadium Commission, which will study the long-range needs of that facility and the Bills.

"We know we'll have some very important decisions to make about Rich Stadium over the next several years, and having the committee will help us develop some in-house expertise," Pigeon said.

Although the county is not currently financially involved in housing the Sabres, Pigeon said that could change in the future and lawmakers have to stay informed.

"We may have a role to play there if we're going to keep that franchise in Buffalo. Through this committee, we'll be able to be part of the solution, instead of having to play catch up when some other entity decides our role," he said.

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