Waterfront Stadium Group Makes $500K Land Offer to NFTA

10:53 AM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY- The group trying to bring a Buffalo Bills stadium to the waterfront is continuing to fight to make it happen, and this time it's putting money on table.

The Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex is trying to buy time. It submitted a $500,000 offer to the NFTA Tuesday for the exclusive right to negotiate the purchase of 150 acres of outer harbor land.

The NFTA, however, is saying thanks, but no thanks. NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel tells 2 On Your Side the agency is only willing to work with the city of Buffalo and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation with the goal of maintaining public access for the nearly 400 acres of outer harbor land.

Hasiotis says the GBSEC wants all four entities to work together in a public-private partnership.

"We can certainly surround whatever buildings are built with incredible park space. And we can guarantee public access to enhance a really beautiful waterfront, whether it's beaches or fishing piers. So we would pay for all that," Hasiotis said. "What we're offering is a percentage of our profits that would go back into the public treasury. That could be used for underwriting bus fares or extension of the light rail or for park space."

Minkel adds the NFTA cannot negotiate with GBSEC without opening it up to competitive bids.

"The truth is you don't really," Hasiotis countered. "This is a special situation. You didn't do it for Bass Pro. There's a double standard in this town and we're confronting that. If we're doing an Memorandum of Understanding between three different public entities and they're juggling who's ultimately going to have control of this land, then you're no longer talking about the normal rules of procedure."

Hasiotis says the GBSEC is going to make an announcement within the next week that may push the $1.4 billion project even closer to reality.


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