I have attended most Buffalo Bills games since 1974. Out-of-town family and friends are just as interested in the tailgating experience as the game itself. My vote is for the new stadium to be built in Orchard Park.
Part of the sales pitch for a new stadium includes unspecified benefits to the community. With the new stadium’s billion-dollar taxpayer price tag, these benefits should be negotiated into the new lease agreement. Given the physical footprint, it is a fair assumption that all or part of the Erie Community College South campus will become part of the new stadium complex.
Game day parking at ECC is $35 a vehicle. During the Super Bowl years, charities ran the concession stands in the stadium. I am proposing that ECC South become the college’s business school. ECC would manage a minority/low-income business incubator. Future restaurateurs would get their start at the new stadium then get assistance locating a permanent location in the Western New York community.
ECC would continue to provide the new entrepreneurs with assistance as long as needed. ECC would provide jobs to students managing the game day parking. Revenue from parking could be used to fund a revolving minority/low-income small business low-interest loan program. The incubator businesses would work with local nonprofits which would provide game-day workers.
The Atlanta Falcon’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium offers soda, popcorn, and hot dogs for $2. Nachos and pizza for $3. And a $5 cheeseburger. Community benefits should also include making game day affordable for all families. If you agree, contact your local elected officials.