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and analysis.

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by Jim Heaney


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by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

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Conflicting cost estimates to rehab stadium

This story was updated Friday, April 1, at 12:39 p.m. Last November, a consultant working for New York State said it would cost $862 million to renovate the current home of the Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.  That number was often cited by team representatives and local and state officials as they advocated […]


Taxpayer hit on Bills stadium tops $1 billion

The fear: A new Bills stadium would cost taxpayers $1 billion. The reality: It’s going to cost even more. The deal announced Monday commits the state to spending $600 million upfront to help cover construction costs. Erie County would put up an additional $250 million. But the subsidies don’t stop there. The state is also on […]


Hochul pressed on subsidy reform

New York doles out more subsidy dollars than almost any state in the nation and one of its more noteworthy programs was marred by corruption. The problems have been evident for years, and especially since Investigative Post exposed bid-rigging in the Buffalo Billion program in 2014 that eventually sent one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top […]


Bills stadium plans are an outlier

Most modern NFL stadiums operate as year-round destinations. Their development includes shops, restaurants, bars and the like, or they are built in proximity to existing entertainment venues.  While the offerings vary, the goal is the same: provide reasons for people to visit beyond 10 football games a year.  The Bills are demanding a $1.4 billion, […]


Bill targets federal stadium subsidy

It’s not clear whether the Buffalo Bills will seek federal help to build a $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park. But a bill recently proposed by three Democratic members of Congress would prevent the team from getting at least one federal subsidy that several downstate projects have enjoyed.  The three Congress members — Jackie Speier, […]


OTB hires another pricey lobbyist

Western Regional Off-Tracking Betting Corp. has hired another Albany lobbyist, this time with strong connections to one of New York’s most influential politicians — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.  OTB board members agreed last month to a four-month contract that would pay up to $15,000 per month to Patrick Jenkins, a longtime friend and former aide […]


State historically not a big funder of stadiums

Many fans and politicians are expecting, even counting on, the state to put up most of the money the Buffalo Bills want from the public to help finance construction of a new stadium.   The state has played no such role, however, in the construction or renovation of major league stadiums and arenas in the recent […]


OTB reform bills pass first test

Amid pushback from some county law legisislatures, a series of bills aimed at restructuring operations of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. have cleared their first legislative hurdle.  The the three bills, sponsored by Buffalo Democratic Sen. Tim Kennedy, moved through the state senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager on Monday.  Kennedy introduced the […]