Gov. Hochul’s nearly $1 billion Buffalo bill to taxpayers

After weeks of behind-closed-doors negotiations with the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills and Erie County officials, Gov. Kathy Hochul is giving New York taxpayers a record $850 million in subsidies for a new $1.4 billion soccer stadium.

The program creates a new state entity, Erie County Stadium Corp., which leases the arena to the Bills while paying millions for annual upkeep, maintenance, and repairs. It’s a ridiculous giveaway for a wealthy and successful sports franchise that probably wouldn’t leave the area.

Hochul is bringing in $600 million from the state coffers, while financially anemic Erie County will use $75 million from a running surplus and borrow $175 million to cover the remainder of its stake. Talk about kicking the soccer ball into the proverbial street.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-LI), who is demanding university, called the deal “the largest tax giveaway to an NFL team in league history.” . . for eight home games a year.”

the $850 million deal surpasses the previous record grant for an NFL stadium, $750 million in public funding for the Las Vegas Raiders’ nearly $2 billion Allegiant Stadium.

The government office protests that the deal works out at about 61% in public funding, “well below other recent NFL stadium deals in comparable markets.” Even if it’s true, that doesn’t make it right.

A rendering of the new Buffalo Bills Stadium.
A rendering of the new Buffalo Bills Stadium.

Hochul also claims that the project will create 10,000 union jobs and that projected tax revenues and the overall economic impact of the stadium will more than offset the taxpayers’ contribution. If economic development were that easy, New York wouldn’t be littered with the last governor’s AndyLand fiascos.

While the open-air, multi-purpose venue is touted as a potential football game venue, it will host at most eight NFL games per year for three decades. That works out to a subsidy of over $3.5 million per game (excluding interest).

Hochul can put her limited influence in the legislature to good use to get the gift to her beloved hometown Bills into the state budget, which is now being finalized. But if she gets it, no criminal correctionsshe will go down in history as the acting governor who saved the Bills but failed New Yorkers.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/29/gov-hochuls-nearly-1-billion-buffalo-bill-for-taxpayers/ Gov. Hochul’s nearly $1 billion Buffalo bill to taxpayers


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