Buffalo Bills New NFL Stadium
Buffalo, New York, United States
Architecture, Interior Design, Wayfinding, Brand Activation
The Buffalo Bills, in conjunction with Populous and Legends, are leaving no stone unturned in exploring every innovative element to create a new stadium for Buffalo.
The Buffalo Bills are seeking a modern, football-first venue that will foster the history, heritage and culture of the franchise, while building the future of the organization. Due to open in 2026, the stadium will pay homage to the historic architecture of Buffalo while delivering a modern design to Western New York.
Challenge. Buffalo is known for its rich architectural history and a dynamic, electric fan base dedicated to the Bills. The new stadium will be located directly across from Highmark Stadium, the current home of the Bills.
Populous’ design delivers an atmosphere for football that is both intimate and intimidating — one that gives their fans a brand-new home for the Bills’ storied culture and makes it a tough place for the opposing team to play.
The stadium will create a new place to foster the iconic culture of the Bills' fan base, while creating an exciting vision for the future of the franchise and the community.Scott Radecic, Populous senior principal
Innovation. The new stadium is designed with a 360-degree canopy, iron-spot brick cladding at the entry level and perforated metal panels that allow approaching fans to get a glimpse of the action inside.
The perimeter of the stadium is adorned with an imposing colonnade, which evokes a sense of resilience and pride. The colonnade features iron-spot brick panels that rise and clad the building to varying degrees of height, further creating a grounded sense of place along the stadium’s edge. The lighter weight perforated metal panels above create a sense of fluidity and movement as they traverse the upper levels of the stadium.
Amid the primary northeast grounds of the stadium, Populous and the Bills created a greeting area outside the stadium walls, unofficially called “The Family Circle.” The Family Circle features a larger-than-life sculpture: a family of American Bison. The Family Circle is a core gathering site for the community, designed to highlight a desire for visual identity, while signifying that if you are a Bills fan, you are home.
The interior of the building is focused on the intimacy of the game. Our design brings fans closer to the field and creates a game day environment that fuels the fan base. The seating bowl is stacked, which helps bring fans closer to the field while shielding them from the notoriously harsh Buffalo weather and lake-effect winds.
Above the north end zone, fans are as close as 12 feet vertically from the field, creating a wall of fans that provide a home-field advantage and intimidation aspect of the stadium for any team playing the Bills.
At its core, the stadium is designed with football and the Buffalo community in mind. The melding of stoic Buffalo architecture of the late 30s and early 40s with a modern, forward-thinking design has led to a one-of-a-kind stadium design in the NFL.
The atmosphere created by the seating bowl and architecture that envelopes the raucous Bills crowd will create a clear home-field advantage for the Buffalo Bills.
Our approach to the design takes its cues from the historic architecture in Buffalo and merges their projection of strength with modern materials and a building form that is set to create an intimate and intimidating football-first environment.Jonathan Mallie, Populous senior principal
Impact. The stadium will be a gathering place for the entire community of Buffalo. Ron Raccuia, the Bill’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said he can envision thousands of fans coming to the stadium for the party and the atmosphere.
Through extensive research on the community, team, fans and surrounding architecture, we are designing a home that honors the Buffalo Bills fans of the past while creating a sense of place for the next-generation fan base.
In the design for the new Bills stadium, we’ve utilized our widespread stadium experience and constant focus on design and entertainment innovation to incorporate features that make the stadium both inviting and comfortable. We have also focused on creating a space that is intimate and intimidating — from the use of a 360-degree canopy to the arrangement of stacked seating within a thoughtfully choreographed exterior to protect the fans.
Our wealth of knowledge around designing football stadiums that leverage the weather to create a home team advantage allows us to create an open-air stadium in a cold climate — a truly authentic home for the Bills. This experience-based approach allows us to design a stadium with an emphasis on game day that is grounded in Buffalo Bills football.