Gary L. Ginsberg, a Buffalo native and Time Warner marketing executive based in New York City, is Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s sixth appointee to the panel tasked with exploring options for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
Ginsberg’s appointment to the “New Stadium Working Group” – which includes other appointees of the governor, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Bills management – came a day before the panel is supposed to hold its first meeting today at an undisclosed location.
The new panel was formed to explore several stadium options, including the construction of a new stadium at the current Orchard Park location, a new stadium somewhere else or a significant renovation to the existing Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Its work is considered crucial to keeping the Bills in Western New York beyond the current lease. That lease expires in 2023 and contains a $400 million relocation penalty, but also includes a one-time option for the team to leave after the seventh year by paying a $28.4 million penalty.
With the recent death of Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the stadium panel’s work may be viewed by many as taking on new urgency.
As executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications for Time Warner, Ginsberg, according to the company’s Web page, works with Time Warner’s top executives at its operating divisions on a wide range of corporate matters.
Prior to joining Time Warner, Ginsberg served as executive vice president of global marketing and corporate affairs at News Corp. He also worked as a lawyer in the Clinton White House.
Cuomo previously named a slate of elected officials among his picks to serve on the stadium panel, including Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster. Rounding out Cuomo’s appointees so far were Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Empire State Development President Kenneth Adams.
The panel can have up to 21 members, with Cuomo, Poloncarz and the Bills allowed to appoint up to seven members each.
The Bills have named their seven high-powered figures to the stadium panel. They are U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer; Bills President and CEO Russell H. Brandon; Louis P. Ciminelli, chairman of LPCiminelli Inc.; Christopher H. Koch, CEO of New Era Cap Co.; Jordan Levy, managing partner of SoftBank Capital; Jeffrey C. Littman, chief financial officer of the Bills; and Mary Owen, executive vice president of strategic planning for the Bills.
Meanwhile, Poloncarz has named seven appointees, including himself. The other six are Deputy County Executive Richard M. Tobe; Maria R. Whyte, county commissioner of environment and planning; Michael Joseph, president of Clover Management; Alphonso O’Neil-White, retired president of HealthNow New York; Kathleen C. Hochul, former congresswoman and now a vice president at M&T Bank; and Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.