SBD/January 18, 2013/Facilities

Ralph Wilson Stadium Upgrades To Include New Glass Team Store, More Outdoor Space

Renovations include a modern glass design to the team store to boost "curb appeal"
K.C.-based architectural firm Populous on Thursday gave Erie County (New York) legislators “their first in-depth glimpse into what a $95 million state and county investment” into Ralph Wilson Stadium “will buy,” according to Denise Jewell Gee of the BUFFALO NEWS. The centerpiece “will be the 8,000-square-foot team store … that will mark the entrance to a new pedestrian plaza at the front of the stadium.” The store is to include a “modern glass design with elements reminiscent of the Old Rock Pile,” and it will “help create a ‘new front door’ and boost the ‘curb appeal’” of the stadium. Populous Senior Principal Scott Radecic said, “We want it to glow and light up at night. … We want to reinforce the Bills brand when people are passing by the stadium.” Radecic added that one of the main goals is to “improve the ways fans move in and out of the stadium by pushing the entrance gates 75 to 100 feet out and creating an outdoor space around the stadium for fans.” He said that talks are “still under way with concessionaire Delaware North Cos. to determine what amenities could be added to that area to connect fans to the game.” Gee reports the chain-link fence around the stadium “will be replaced with new fencing that will create better views into the complex, and more lanes will be added that will more clearly define how people line up as they enter the ticket gates.” Renovations inside will focus on “redesigning existing space to create more places to sell food and beverages, upgrade restrooms and clear portable vending stands that create backups in the concourse.” Bills execs “ruled out a more expensive ‘retrofit’ of the stadium that could have widened concourses to alleviate congestion” (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/18).

ON THE WATERFRONT? WGRZ-NBC's Scott Levin reported the idea of a "downtown sports stadium in Buffalo continues to gain momentum as another community meeting took place Wednesday to inform the public on the process of securing and building a stadium." Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex Partner George Hasiotis said that the stadium "would be a multi-venue sports complex built on the outer harbor that would be used for many activities." The Bills "would be only one anchor tenant" (WGRZ.com, 1/17).
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