From the Morning Memo:

It’s fair to say Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, D, has been a little cold on the idea of building a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

Poloncarz has repeatedly thrown cold water on the possibility of the massive undertaking without saying outright it shouldn’t happen. The county executive even recently chastised members of the media for asking questions about the stadium.

“I’ve said to the media, ‘Go talk to the Pegulas’ and you guys did,” Poloncarz conceded Wednesday. “And I think what I heard from them yesterday is, ‘We don’t know what the plan’s gonna be.'”

Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula spoke pretty openly about what a new facility and the project could look like, during the NFL’s owners meeting in Phoenix this week. They did however, urge patience as they continue an independent study about fan interest.

“They’re going to wait for the report to come out and we’ll all have to wait for the report to come out but I don’t think the report is all encompassing,” Poloncarz said. “There’s a lot of things that are going to go into that determination as to whether not it’s a renovation or a new stadium and I think we as a community have an important say in that.”

Terry Pegula talked about a scaled down “Buffalo-style” stadium. Poloncarz said he believes that means the owners are not interested in paying the multi-billion dollar price tag some NFL cities are taking on.

He said at least $1 billion needs to be assumed though. As for how much of the burden Erie County should shoulder, the county executive said he doesn’t negotiate in public.

“If the Pegulas tomorrow said they want to build a new stadium and they were going to pay for it all by themselves, they could do that,” Poloncarz said. “They could. I don’t know if they would think about doing that because these are expensive options.”

As the county looks into building a new convention center, he is not considering a new stadium a factor.

“They’re two separate projects at this point because right now there is no stadium project. It’s just a convention center and we’ll deal with it all as it comes by,” Poloncarz said.

He said the only NFL city that truly has a combo convention center and stadium is Indianapolis and people there complain they are not able to hold events during the football season. Poloncarz said it’s indisputable a convention center would generate more revenue for the county than a stadium, but the county executive’s opinion on a new facility may be starting to thaw a bit.

“That’s not to say a brand new football stadium might not be on the horizon because they’re not going to play at New Era field forever but that conversation is not done yet.”