SBD/May 7, 2014/Facilities

New York State Hires AECOM To Assist In Search For New Bills Stadium Sites

AECOM will identify up to four sites to replace Ralph Wilson Stadium
L.A.-based architectural and planning firm AECOM has been tapped by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to "quickly begin scouting locations" for a new Bills stadium, and to "come up with a detailed, financial feasibility report in just two months for up to four possible sites in Western New York," according to a front-page piece by Tom Precious of the BUFFALO NEWS. Site visits by AECOM execs "will start Monday and conclude June 17," with a final report due to the state by July 11. The scouts will "confine their work to the 'Buffalo region' -- avoiding Ontario." Sources said that AECOM could "look at a dozen sites before reducing the list to a 'workable' three or four new locations." The company also is charged with "doing an economic analysis of keeping the Bills in their current stadium" in Orchard Park. The state’s work with AECOM "shows a growing interest in making sure the team does not slip away from New York under new owners." AECOM’s fees will be "taken out of the $350,000 the state recently awarded Foley & Lardner as part of a three-year contract" to represent it during sale talks. Sources said that the sites will "be as specific as possible and won’t be listed as just 'downtown Buffalo.'" Ancillary mixed-used real estate developments for a new stadium site also will "be a key part of the study." The company is "assigning a number of executives to the project," including AECOM Sports-Americas Dir Jon Niemuth. AECOM has been "a key partner in stadiums" for the Seahawks and D-Backs. It was "involved in the renovations at Lambeau Field" for the Packers and the Olympic Stadium for the '08 Beijing Games (BUFFALO NEWS, 5/7).
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