The Buffalo Bills have cleared a major hurdle in securing private financing to help construct a $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park.
The National Football League’s joint stadium and finance committee voted Friday to recommend the league approve a maximum $200 million loan to Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula, according to a league source.
All 32 teams will vote on the proposal at the league’s annual owners’ meeting Monday in Palm Beach, Fla. At least three-quarters of the league’s owners – 24 of 32 – must vote in favor of the deal, which is considered a formality.
“If the committees approve it, it’s a foregone conclusion,” sports consultant Marc Ganis, who has worked with the majority of NFL teams, told The Buffalo News.
Up to $150 million of the loan is forgivable, repaid through the visiting teams’ share of Bills ticket revenue over 25 years, and is contingent on both public financing and the Pegulas contributing at least $200 million of their own equity to the project, according to the terms of the league’s “G-4” loan program, which helps fund stadium construction and renovations.
The agreement to fully finance the stadium, which has been negotiated since late summer between New York State, Erie County and the Bills, is not yet signed.