Structural steel construction work has commenced on the Buffalo Bills’ new Highmark Stadium at the Orchard Park site in New York, US.
The Buffalo Bills are an American football team.
New York’s governor Kathy Hochul and workers, who completed the first construction phase of the facility, together signed a 20ft steel beam that will be incorporated into the stadium’s structure.
Bills Finance & Business Administration interim COO and SVP Josh Dziurlikowski said: “As workers hoist into place the first structural steel at the new Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, we want to recognise the many dedicated workers who have safely played an instrumental role in the initial phases of the project and those who will work on the project moving forward as we look ahead to our first game in the new stadium in 2026.”
The public-private stadium agreement was announced by Hochul in 2022.
It includes a $600m investment by the state, a $250m contribution from Erie County, and a minimum of $690m from the Bills themselves and the National Football League for the construction of the stadium.
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The stadium is approximated to have an annual economic impact of $385m and create 10,000 union construction jobs.
The development will be under a project labour agreement with the Buffalo Building Trades Council.
The new open-air Highmark Stadium will be a 60,000-seat facility designed by the Bills in collaboration with Legends and architectural company Populous.
It will be situated adjacent to the existing Highmark Stadium built in 1973.
The installation of approximately 25,000 tons of steel will now commence, with the steelwork expected to take between 12 to 14 months to complete.
As the steel framework is erected for the new stadium, the building will be clad, and mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems will be installed.
The on-site workforce is set to increase from 300 to more than 1,500 a day as the project progresses.
The project prioritises employment for those in the area, with more than 95% of the current workforce reported as local.
The stadium will feature weather mitigation elements such as radiant heating and a canopy covering 65% of seats.