New football stadium or not, the current one still needs repairs

Everyone involved admits talks are underway for a new football stadium, almost certainly at Orchard Park. However, the current one needs repairs, worth millions of dollars this spring.

The current lease with the Buffalo Bills requires extensive repairs to the stadium and other buildings on the site, and the cost of repairs is calculated according to the terms of the lease, which expires after the next football season.

Erie County Public Works Commissioner Bill Geary said repairs are expected to be just over $5 million, although the plan is to spend a little less because, “with an installation older”, who knows what might happen during the repairs.

“Maintenance items. This facility being exposed to the elements. Concrete repairs, paint, plumbing, HVAC, nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “Even if we were to start building a new stadium tomorrow, it’s probably a good two years of construction, so there’s still general maintenance. Also, not just the stadium itself, it’s the stadium complex .”

Repairs are also planned for the country house and the administrative building. Geary said there were supply chain issues last year and there could be potential issues if parts had to be imported from overseas this time around.

“Plumbing, valves, water heaters, things like that. There’s always that,” he said. “Paint, I feel pretty good. The normal things we would do for concrete repairs, things of that nature. But some of the specialist equipment, like an HVAC unit, for example, a heat pump, that might always be affected by an element of the supply chain.”

Like every year, work will be done between the spring thaw and training camp, so the earlier the spring the better.

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