Is it a Community Benefits Agreement if it Doesn’t Benefit The Community?

Local community groups and leaders held a press conference on the steps of the Wiley Pavilion last Thursday to discuss  the need for a strong Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)  regarding  the Buffalo Bills  new $1.4 billion Stadium. 

Organizers  released the following statement:

“Taxpayers are being saddled with $850 million dollars to invest into building a new Bills stadium in Orchard Park. In addition to the pleasure of watching the Buffalo Bills play football here for the next 30 years, there needs to be tangible benefits with actual deliverables to our community. Negotiations began exactly one week ago between Erie County, New York State, and the Buffalo Bills.

The community has been absent in these conversations and will also forgo the negotiations, but how do you have a Community Benefits Agreement without community? The community is coming together to demand a CBA that truly benefits the residents of our region and that community plays a role in decision making processes regarding of how said community benefits are provided and determined. “

Concerned citizens said  they want the agreement to include items like a “community investment fund,”  public transportation to and from the stadium, and money for youth athletics and mentor programs.