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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

Neighbors weigh in on Bills stadium plans at final public hearing


County leaders and developers were taking comments and concerns from people just like you Thursday night. The $1.4 billion Buffalo Bills stadium project nears its final preparations. However, before shovels hit the ground for the new stadium, community members had one last chance to make their voices heard.

"You know some of the concerns they're saying now, I don't think it going to really make that much of a factor," said Eric Matwijow, Hammers Lot Owner. "I mean you could express your opinions and if you don't speak forever hold your breath in the future."

Matwijow has lived in Orchard Park for 65 years. He told 7 News, the fact the Buffalo Bills are staying in Western New York is a good thing and he's willing to do his part as a nearby resident. However, he doesn't want to do it alone.

"We also want to make sure that of there are any problems that we can have a contact person like they did at the other renovations," said Matwijow.

Matwijow was among several other long-time Orchard Park neighbors who expressed concerns with how dust, debris and noise may impact their community during the stadiums construction. Buffalo Bills
The new Buffalo Bills stadium is expected to be completed in Orchard Park by fall 2026. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills expect to finish construction on their new stadium by fall 2026 on Abbott Road in Orchard Park.

Stephen Gawlik, Empire State Development Senior Council, said substantial negative comments will be considered by the board before shovels hit the ground in June. A local fire department expressed the need for more financial assistance in order to serve at the stadium.

"Some of the neighbors issues," said Gawlik. "The fire companies issues. We'll need to talk to the neighbors, we'll talk to the Bills and then also the brick layers. We've already had conversations with the Bills about the work that they'll be doing for the stadium."

Some people living near the stadium site expressed concern with eminent domain but Gawlik said that wouldn't be an issue.

"The county owns everything that the stadium footprints going to be on," said Gawlik.

Matwijow said during January's committee meeting , Empire State Development shared 99.8% of the project plans were already completed.

The focus now is on the future and the optimism for what it could bring.

"Overall I love that stadium," said Matwijow. "It looks like the one in London and it looks fantastic."

Empire State Development expects to meet with the board later this month to bring up some of the concerns gathered tonghit. If all goes well, the deal will be sent to the Erie County Legislature and executive to be signed before construction can begin.

If you would like to stay up to date as the project moves forward you can find information here.

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