Friday, December 26, 2014

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Lawmakers tour Ralph Wilson Stadium and hear about proposed improvements

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Rochester: Lawmakers tour Ralph Wilson Stadium and hear about proposed improvements
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Ralph Wilson Stadium is set to undergo $130 million in upgrades and renovations. Erie County lawmakers walked through the stadium today to get a firsthand look at what work needs to be done and what's in store. As YNN's Kate McGowan tells us, the overall theme is the ultimate fan experience.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Here at the Ralph, Erie County legislatures toured the stadium and heard about future upgrades. They did this before voting on a lease agreement that would keep the Bills in Buffalo for another 10 years.

As part of lease agreement, $130 million has been allocated for upgrades; $95 million of that coming from the county and state and $35 million from the Buffalo Bills.

Thursday, the ideas presented consisted of a number of goals to give fans the ultimate experience. Upgrades include expanding the stadiums concourses and improving their look, allowing fans to enter easier.

The plan also talks about adding more restrooms and improving what's already there. That's also the same with concession stands.

Among the upgrades, they also hope to expand the Bills store, more than doubling the size and having an entrance to the store on Abbott Road.

They also talked about adding more security lanes so fans don't have to be stuck outside.

The legislators who came to check it out were impressed by what's to come.

"I think with all of their thoughts from the restrooms, to the concessions, to the heat of the seats, this will be a good experience for our fans," said Lynn Marinelli, (D).

"I like the idea of the sincere commitment of the Buffalo Bills to stay here. That's been a question in my mind, in my constituents minds in Erie County. Are they going to be here long term and I really was impressed by what I saw today," said John Mills.

The legislature is set to vote on the lease agreement next week. It then goes the NFL for final approval.

Once approved, work at the Ralph could get underway. The plan aims to have all upgrades complete by 2015. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP