Baskin: Bills Stadium deal set to benefit underprivileged Erie County


The Erie County legislature president wants a pact to include targets for hiring minorities during and after construction, as well as programs to help the poor.

BUFFALO, NY – If the Buffalo Bills organization is successful, the team will get a new stadium right across from their current home in Orchard Park.

If April Baskin succeeds, a new stadium deal will benefit underprivileged people in Erie County, including the city of Buffalo.

On Saturday night, for the first time, the Speaker of the Erie County Legislature weighed in on ongoing talks over a proposed new football stadium. The Bills organization came up with the only cost estimate at $ 1.4 billion. The team has openly stated that they expect public money, or taxpayer money, to pay at least some of the costs.

Governor Kathy Hochul and Erie County Director Mark Poloncarz both participated in the stadium talks.

Baskin explains that if the state and county are asked to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a stadium in one of the county’s better-off suburbs, then the deal should include benefits for the underprivileged.

“It’s about making sure there is an exception for this type of investment to really benefit the masses, not just the privileged few,” Baskin said Saturday ahead of his annual state address for his 2nd district. legislative.

In Baskin’s speech on the lawn at the Richardson Olmsted complex, next to Buffalo State College, she publicly called for a community benefits deal in the stadium deal that would set, among other things, employment targets for minorities during and after construction.

“We want to make sure that the people who rent booths in the stadium, the jobs in the stadium, the food I buy in the stadium, I want the owners of these establishments to be people from disenfranchised communities. to have an opportunity to earn from that investment, ”Baskin said.

Baskin also wants the stadium deal to include other benefits for minorities and other disadvantaged groups, such as expanded sports programs for young people, more money for affordable housing and expanded assistance programs. small businesses.

2 On Your Side is informed by Baskin staff that preliminary copies of Saturday’s speech were not provided to Hochul or Poloncarz. We reached out to both of their offices this evening to get a reaction, but by the time this story was filed, neither had responded.

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