Populous celebrate groundbreaking on new home for the Buffalo Bills
Orchard Park, NY
Highmark Stadium to bring fans closer to football action
The Buffalo Bills and Tenderstream member Populous celebrated the official groundbreaking of the new Buffalo Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on 5th June. Set to open in fall 2026, the stadium will pay homage to the historic architecture of Buffalo and the dynamic, electric fan base dedicated to the Bills. The official name for the stadium, Highmark Stadium, was also announced as part of a new naming-rights agreement.
The design intends to deliver an atmosphere that draws fans into the energy and spirit of the American football team, giving fans a brand-new home for the Bills’ history and culture, while setting up a place for the sport in Buffalo for years to come. The new stadium will include a 360-degree canopy and perforated metal panels that allow approaching fans to get a glimpse of the action inside. The perimeter will be wrapped with an imposing colonnade, evoking a sense of resilience and pride.
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’, designed as a core gathering site for the community and featuring a larger-than-life sculpture: a family of American Bison.
The interior of the building will be focussed on the intimacy of the game, bringing fans closer to the field and creating 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 twelve 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.
Populous’ work will continue through the building process, leading overall design, architecture, interior design and brand activation to create a cohesive and unique experience for Bills fans and visitors. “This is an exciting time for the Bills and our entire design and construction team,” stated Populous senior principal Scott Radecic. “It was our goal at Populous to design one of the most intimate and intimidating venues in the NFL, and this is the next step to bringing an industry-changing design to reality.”