The executive board of the Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council was told Tuesday evening that if a new outer harbor stadium is ever built, it would provide hundreds of union construction jobs.
George F. Hasiotis, vice president of Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex, laid out the basic details for the $1.4 billion, multi-purpose mixed-use facility that would be situated on about 400 acres of land now owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
“It’s also our mission to go around to the various communities and constituencies to inform them about what the details are and how we [plan to] build this project and what the objectives are, specifically for labor and organized labor. It’s a question of jobs,” Hasiotis said.
He already has spoken about the proposed project to members of the Buffalo Building Trades Council, which, he said, has issued a statement of unanimous support. Similar statements are being sought from other entities in the local community. “It’s an economic stimulus project. Based on the calculation that our [architect] design team has come up with from other projects they’ve done, we’re looking at about $900 million in compensation as we do the build-out of five to six years for this facility,” Hasiotis said.
Michael Hoffert, president of the AFL-CIO Labor Council, said his executive board will weigh the merits of the proposal. “I like the project. I think it may be something that we may be able to get behind, but I wanted to make sure that all of my affiliates were on board with it as well.” Hoffert said.
“Usually when a developer comes to town and has a project of this magnitude, they’ll come and will talk to local labor first to see if the workforce is there in order to put it together,” Hoffert added.
There are, of course, a variety of other local interests that Hasiotis must convince. He has even enlisted the support of what calls local ambassadors to make those pitches. “We’re getting a lot of support in the minority community because this is perceived as a kind of necessary economic stimulus project. We’ve got a number of elected officials that we’ve been working closely with to develop a partnership,” Hasiotis said.