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Why a combined Bills stadium-convention center isn't in the cards

With a new Buffalo convention center and a new Bills stadium being looked at as possibilities, some have suggested Erie County officials consider building a stadium-convention center campus.

But that's not going to happen.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he gave Kim and Terry Pegula a briefing on the convention center recommendation announced Thursday.

"They look at it just like I do – the football stadium and the convention center are two separate things," he said.

Atlanta-based consultant Tvsdesign recommended a new Buffalo convention center on the block of Delaware Avenue block north of the Statler City building. Located in the heart of downtown, there would be no place to expand the convention center to incorporate a stadium.

Tvsdesign Principal Robert J. Svedberg said his firm took a cursory look at combining a convention center and stadium but did not see much benefit.

Convention center trends are moving away from combining both buildings, he said.

Stadiums are used intermittently for only a few dozen events a year. Convention centers host events all year long, he said. For that reason, he said, there is no great benefit to co-locating a stadium right next door.

When asked how county government could balance the costs of  both a Bills stadium and the convention center, Poloncarz replied, "We can do it."

Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte told legislators Thursday that the bulk of the cost of the convention center would not be born by local taxpayers.

Study recommends new $441M convention center on Delaware Avenue

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