You are reading

Several Queens Legislators Announce Opposition to Hochul’s Plan to Advance $600M to Buffalo Bills

Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, New York (Photo: Dan Schoedel CC BY 2.0)

April 1, 2022 By Christian Murray

Several Queens legislators have signed on to a letter calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to scrap her plans to advance the Buffalo Bills $600 million to pay for a new stadium.

The letter comes just four days after the governor announced that she would include $600 million in her executive budget that would go toward the cost of a $1.4 billion new stadium. The funds, she said, would be part of a deal to keep the franchise in Buffalo for another 30 years, which the state would more than recoup in tax revenue.

But many state legislators have come out against the subsidy and were outraged that it was announced just four days before the April 1 budget deadline. The criticism is believed to be a factor in why the budget deadline was not met—along with potential changes to bail reform and the opening of casinos in New York City.

“We, the undersigned, write to oppose the Executive’s proposed public financing for a new Buffalo Bills stadium. This proposal, negotiated in secret and only announced days before the final budget is due, would represent the largest public subsidy to an NFL team in history,” the letter to Hochul read.

The letter was signed by 20 state legislators, including Assembly Members Brian Barnwell, Zohran Mamdani, Ron Kim, Jessica González-Rojas, Khaleel Anderson and State Sen. James Sanders.

“This proposal is a giveaway to Bills’ owner Terry Pegula, an individual who already has $5.8 billion in net worth,” according to the letter. “Buffalo is in need of significant economic revitalization that cannot be achieved through a billionaire giveaway.”

The legislators argue that funds would be better spent on low-income New Yorkers, noting that 2021 census data showed that nearly thirty percent of Buffalo residents live in poverty. They also said that there are 92,000 homeless people in the state.

“New Yorkers in and outside of Buffalo need real investments in this year’s budget; Terry Pegula does not need support for his ownership of an NFL team.”

Other Queens officials, such as State Sen. Jessica Ramos, whose name wasn’t on the letter, have also announced their opposition to the subsidy.

Hochul said that the deal makes fiscal sense and that it was struck after months of negotiations. The deal involves the construction of a $1.4 billion stadium, with $600 million from the state, $250 from Erie County and a combined $550 million from the NFL and Bills.

Hochul said that the construction of the stadium would create 10,000 union jobs and that the investment would be recouped by the economic activity the team generates over 30 years.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Brooklyn Academy of Music to spotlight art, activism, and voting rights at MLK Day tribute Jan. 16

The Brooklyn Academy of Music will memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with weekend of events leading up to the 37th annual MLK Tribute on Monday, Jan. 16.

The main event takes place on Monday when BAM staff, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, civic leaders and community members will join together to hear a keynote speech from civil rights lawyer and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill and enjoy performances from Sing Harlem and Allison Russell.