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Bills fans: You could own a piece of New Era Field turf

The field turf at New Era Field is being rolled up and trucked out this week.

Where will it go?

That's a good question. Erie County legislators originally wanted pieces of the turf to be given away to interested youth and community sports organizations. But there's red tape involved in giving away taxpayer-bought county assets.

In addition, SUNY Erie Community College has requested roughly a third of the leftover turf to cover an indoor field for the college.

So county officials expect a lot of turf will be left.

The county plans an auction – giving fans the opportunity to buy a piece.

Chances are, however, lots of old turf will be left and end up being recycled or trashed, said Jonathan Rivera, special assistant to the commissioner of public works.

That's because this NFL turf isn't the kind you can just cut, roll out and reuse, Rivera told legislators Thursday. It requires the advance installation of under-layers and special stitching to connect the old Bills turf to the layers below. It's also heavy.

Bottom line: Reinstalling the old Bills turf anywhere else won't be cheap. It'd be an expensive choice for Bills fans considering turf for bedroom carpeting or welcome mats.

But for those who collect memorabilia or want a square of turf for nostalgic reasons, the Department of Public Works is putting together a proposal to auction the turf. More details will come.

Legislator Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca, suggested in March that the turf be auctioned and that proceeds be given to community athletic organizations that assist youth with special needs.

Rivera said the county is putting together its own proposal for how to deal with the old turf and any proceeds.

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