International Gridiron

Buffalo Bills at WembleyThe Buffalo Bills felt right at home at Wembley  Stadium  in London on Sunday. After all, a lot of their fans were in the stands, having traveled 3000 miles to cheer them on against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The trip across the pond wasn’t just fun and games for Buffalo Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula. The dynamic duo was there to talk about energy and economic development opportunities in Western New York.

Buffalo’s  economic  revival  is near and dear to both the Pegulas and National Grid, and our mutual interest has forged a strong partnership.  Accompanying the Pegulas in London were Russ Brandon, Managing Partner/President, Buffalo Bills and Matt Enstice, CEO of Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). They all sat down with National Grid’s Chairman, Sir Peter Gershon, George Mayhew, Corporate Affairs Director, and Dennis Elsenbeck, Western New York Regional Director.

Terry Pegula is no stranger to the energy industry. He founded East Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company back in the early 1980’s. While East Resources still maintains some natural gas assets, most of its assets were sold in recent years.The company was based in Western New York, where Kim Pegula grew up an avid Bills and NHL Sabres fan.

The revitalization of the ‘City of Light’, from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, into downtown Buffalo, is a story of passion and commitment. The Pegula family has been instrumental, beginning with their purchase of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. It’s not uncommon to hear local ‘Buffalonians’ refer to Buffalo as “Pegula-ville.”

In 2012 the Pegulas invested more than $170 million into Buffalo, specifically at the Harborcenter. This multipurpose facility connects with First Niagara Center, home of the Sabres.  Harborcenter draws more than 500,000 people to downtown Buffalo annually.

There’s emergent growth in nearby areas too – downtown in repurposed buildings and along the waterfront and the harbor. Our customers, small and large, are interested in expansion, capacity for future growth, energy efficiency, and renewables.

With so much teamwork, it’s a safe bet that Buffalo’s  economic  development will continue to soar.  Elsenbeck agrees, “The Pegulas are representative of the type of business and community leaders that have a vested interest in Buffalo.  We’re grateful for the opportunities they’ve given us to partner locally and internationally for the good of Western New York.”

So, yes – while the Jaguars took the win in London yesterday, we’re all winners in Buffalo.

Learn more about what we’re doing to revitalize Western New York in this Connect21 video.

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