New Era Field Renovations

Orchard Park, New York

Owner: New York State, Erie County Department of Public Works and The Buffalo Bills

Project value: $130 million

Completed: August 2014

Architect: Populous

Size: 1.2 million sq. ft.

With the announcement that the State of New York and Erie County reached a new ten-year lease agreement also came the news that then Ralph Wilson Stadium (now New Era Field) would receive $130 million in upgrades. In fall 2012, the owners confirmed the project would be under a construction manager at-risk with a GMP contract.

The overhaul of the existing 1973 structure would update nearly every portion of the Buffalo Bills stadium site and required nine main phases to complete, several of which overlapped. Construction started in June 2013 while our team members worked with all the stakeholders including: Buffalo Bills, NFL, Erie County, New York State, Empire State Development and Populous Architects to ensure goals were met.

Some of the initial phases of work included stabilizing and waterproofing the stadium structure and preparing it for major renovations, as well as completed ADA requirements. Other phases included a new 13,000 sq. ft. operations building; and the core and shell for a new 33,000 sq. ft. commissary to support main kitchens and all on-site game day venues. Renovations to the 80,000 sq. ft. training facility and locker room; and a new 8,000 sq. ft. store were also completed. During the 2013 off-season, our team worked to install the new 163 ft. video board which required structural steel, reinforcement, and foundation work. Concurrent to all the work done in the initial phases, designs were evolving for the other phases as well.

Renovations to the stadium included turning the former press box into a facility dedicated solely for radio and TV broadcasts and NFL game-day officials. Two 40-person luxury suites, five new concession stands, 14 new bathrooms and significant exterior concourse work increased the stadium to 1.2 million sq. ft. Keeping the fan experience in mind, substantial completion was given in time for the August 23, 2014 game.

The initial GMP value was $130 million and after bidding and value-engineering was completed, it created $1.7 million in savings. These savings were utilized for additional work to complete the project at the GMP value of $130 million. The project was also designed and built to meet LEED certification requirements.