Senator Joseph Griffo is reacting to Governor Hochul’s plans to commit $600 million in state funding towards the construction of a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.

“I respect that the Buffalo Bills are an important part of the state, especially Western New York and its economy, and I believe that the team should stay in Buffalo because of its enormous and passionate fan base. I also understand that state and local governments play a role in ensuring the long-term viability of a professional sports team." said Griffo.

However, Griffo says the governor’s decision to put a record investment of taxpayer dollars towards the construction of a new stadium is concerning, especially the given the closed-door fashion in which she and the organization decided to negotiate public funds.

Griffo says this is significant funding that could be used to support important programs and address issues affecting communities throughout state. Instead, tax dollars will be going to a billionaire.

He says the process highlights one of the biggest problems in professional sports: Wealthy owners holding communities hostage in order to get new stadiums. This is an unacceptable practice that the NFL must address.

Griffo says small municipalities with publicly owned sports complexes should have the same opportunity to apply for and access funding that would help them make needed improvements to their facilities.

Earlier this week, Governor Hochul announced an agreement has been reached between New York State, Erie County and the Buffalo Bills to keep the NFL team in New York State for 30 years.

The total cost of the stadium is about $1.4 billion, with Hochul advancing $600 million in the proposed state budget and Erie County will contribute $250 million.

The Bills and the NFL will contribute $550 million.

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