Let’s Talk About a Downtown Stadium!

Lucas Oil Stadium is considered a perfect model for the Bills. It cost less than 800 Million and is domed, and has hosted a Super Bowl, and NCAA Final Four - Photo via football.ballparks.com

Lucas Oil Stadium is considered a perfect model for the Bills. It cost less than 800 Million and is domed, and has hosted a Super Bowl, and NCAA Final Four – Photo via football.ballparks.com

A new study has been released naming four possible choices for a new stadium. Three of the locations are located around Downtown with one being right next to the Arena. The fourth choice keeps the stadium right where it is in Orchard Park and basically builds it right next to the existing one. With this report it begs to ask the question: where exactly should a new stadium go?

StadiumCobblestone   The first option is my favorite with it right in Cobblestone district between Mississippi and Michigan St. It’s an area where there’s currently nothing but flat lots. It’s a very historic area of Buffalo and would be right in the heart of Pegulaville. Imagine the return of the cobblestone streets and the look and feel outside the stadium of early 20th century Buffalo. They would need to build some multi-level parking lots along Scott Street as well as set up some park and rides or possibly route the train to drop people off at or under the stadium to reduce traffic. Tailgating lots could be set up across the Buffalo river at the foot of the Skyway. I think that would be a perfect camper / tailgating location offering beautiful views over the water as well as a unique experience. Some infrastructure changes would need to be done to the 190 to allow for better traffic flows but an increase in public transportation options could limit issues. Right now you have to drive to Orchard Park, but with a stadium downtown you could get there a number of different ways.

MichiganstLocation The second option was on the other side of the 190 at the foot of Seneca between Exchange and Swan. I’d like this option better if there were more free space surrounding it. There’s a mixture of homes and businesses and the 190 is a mess right there. It’s a very poor and sloppy design as you’re dropped off onto Seneca or trying to get on to head south. On the plus side, it’s just on the other side of the rail yard, so getting trains to and from even outside buffalo could be a little easier. You could set up locations to park and ride all the way out to the station in Depew. It would still need more parking garages, which I expect they would build where they were going to put the stadium in the example above. However, leaving some flat would allow for a tailgating location near the stadium.

Ohio StlocationThe third option is right along the Buffalo River between Ohio and Louisiana St. Currently it’s the sight of a park but it’s heavily residential. There would need to be major infrastructure changes required in order to get that many people to that location. If they could claim some space that’s currently occupied by residential, I would be OK with it here. How cool would it be to be basking in the smell of Cheerios as they are loading the grain elevators in the fall? Unfortunately, this is probably the least likely option, but it would be a cool one.

The fourth and final idea is to just keep it where it is in Orchard Park. The idea would be to just build it right next to the existing stadium. I think this is the worst idea and one with the least amount of vision; and it provides absolutely no assistance to the City of Buffalo economy.

OrchardParkTo me, the most feasible idea for downtown is the cobblestone district. It’s built on a bunch of lots with a few small structures in its way. I think they could do a lot of cool stuff with the Cobble stone streets and walk ways and really make it a unique experience. The trains could be set up to run to the stadium. They could even link into the main rail yard to bring in people from Depew / Rochester etc. I like the idea of setting up long-term parking and tailgating at the foot of the Skyway where there’s basically nothing. It puts it right in the heart of Pegulaville and provides a lot of options for business growth surrounding it. I want the Bills back in Buffalo. We’re on the rebound; there’s great things happening downtown, but we need attractions that get the masses downtown as often as possible. We can’t make the city better if no one is coming in and spending money and providing the fuel for change. Building this stadium anywhere else would be a mistake. I hear the complaints about the tailgating, etc., but it’ll still exist. It’s just a little bit of a new routine. Buffalo is a city changing, and we can’t afford to stay status quo on the largest money-maker Buffalo has to offer.

So what do you think Buffalo? Where do you want the stadium? Are you willing to change for a cooler NFL experience? Hit us up on Facebook and on twitter @wgoinbuffalo and me @jasonsins

By: Jason Sins

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