Call Detail
Buffalo Bills New Highmark Stadium Bison Sculptures
Entry Deadline: 4/29/24
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 15
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: New York
Budget: $5,000,000

Public Art Intent and Goals

The Buffalo Bills Art Program at New Highmark Stadium seeks to commission works of art that advance public understanding of visual art and enhance the quality of public places by selecting a qualified artist or artist team who can innovatively and thoughtfully design within the context of this project. The public art at New Highmark Stadium should reflect the city’s diverse demographics, team and fan engagement, and be welcoming to travelers of all backgrounds to experience artwork in an inclusive environment.


The Buffalo Bills Art Program seeks to commission a professional visual artist, or artist team, to create public artwork(s) to be placed in New Highmark Stadium. This artwork will be thematic, public-facing, and part of the permanent collection at the Stadium.

Commission Description:

An exterior, public, large-scale, custom commissioned permanent sculpture featuring a herd of American Bison. Location within the public “family circle” area of New Highmark Stadium grounds.

Commission Theme & Prompt: a herd of large-scale American Bison (buffalo) to be imagined, designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed by an artist/artist team as a monument to the Buffalo Bills experience.

To learn more about the Theme,

Watch the “Exclusive Inside Look At The Bills Stadium Experience | Built For Buffalo” 

Episode 2: The Experience


About the Site: “Family Circle”

An exterior, accessible area outside New Highmark Stadium where family, friends, and fans can gather, take photos, engage with public art, and learn about the history of the Buffalo Bills.

This space is the ceremonial front door to the stadium with the highest volume of spectators coming into this corner of the stadium. This communal space visually and historically ties the existing team store and Highmark Stadium in with the new stadium and the Bills family future.  The element that is the focus in the foreground is the family of Buffalo sculptures that range in size and height.  The setting for these sculptures includes: a raised concrete plinth to elevate the sculptures, exposed boulders and cobbles on the ground plane, a large swath of tall ornamental grasses in the background of the sculptures, and concrete seat walls surrounding the space.  

Framing this central communal area are seat walls, terraces and a variety of ornamental planting in the 3-4’ height range with large shade trees creating a corridor to focus the eye on the new stadium and Buffalo sculptures.  The ground plane helps to tie all the Family Circle elements together. A mix of concrete and exposed aggregate concrete helps to reinforce the definition of the Family Circle while encouraging circulation into and around this space.

View Site Details & Specs  

For more information about the site visit:

About New Highmark Stadium Project: Watch

Episode 1: The Concepting Behind the New Bills Stadium

Buffalo Bills Highmark Stadium Background

Highmark Stadium is a stadium in Orchard Park, New York, in the Southtowns of the Buffalo metropolitan area. The stadium opened as Rich Stadium in 1973 and is the home venue of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. It was recognized as Ralph Wilson Stadium from 1998 to 2015, New Era Field from 2016 to 2019, and Bills Stadium in 2020. The stadium is open-air, with a capacity of 71,870. It has never had a natural grass field. In 1998, $57 million were spent to refit the stadium with larger seats and more luxury and club seating as part of the Bills lease renewal with Erie County. Highmark Stadium has hosted multiple concerts, including The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. Highmark Stadium is well known for having some of the most fervent fans in the National Football League. 

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division. Founded in 1959 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), the Bills joined the NFL in 1970 following the AFL-NFL merger. The franchise is owned by Terry and Kim Pegula, who purchased the Bills after the death of original owner Ralph Wilson in 2014. 

The Bills won consecutive AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965. The Bills appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. The Bills have a current streak of five consecutive playoff appearances. 

Buffalo Bills New Highmark Stadium Project Description

New Highmark Stadium is an American football stadium under construction in Orchard Park, New York. It will replace the Bills’ existing stadium of the same name and is expected to open in time for the 2026 NFL season. The 62,000-seat stadium is being designed by Populous, a group that has designed twelve other active NFL stadiums.

The project includes a new 1.35 million GSF open-air stadium, 18,750 SF ancillary building, demolition of the current stadium, and related site development. The stadium’s capacity will be a minimum of 60,000 seats with an expandable capacity to hold special events. Premium areas will include suites, ledge seats, clubs, and other premium seating products. 

The stadium will include state-of-the-art video and scoreboards, sound system, administrative and event staff offices and lockers, broadcast facilities, team store, locker rooms, food service kitchens and concessions, signage, sports lighting, maintenance, and storage areas, plaza, parking, and site landscaping.

The groundbreaking for the stadium occurred in June 2023.

Over the next year, the Buffalo Bills Art Program at Highmark Stadium will include Calls for Art of various sizes and budgets for newly commissioned artworks. The first artwork to be commissioned will be the American Bison sculptures.

Delivering a World-Class Stadium for the Buffalo Bills

The Bills, in conjunction with Legends, and stadium architectural firm, Populous, have left no stone unturned in covering every innovative element of new stadium design. The stadium exterior highlights a visual identity that reflects some of the historical architecture of Buffalo, while also delivering a modern appearance. 

New Highmark Stadium will foster culture of:

• Belonging: a culture of Bills fans, where they can be together as a community

• Pride: a culture that lives and breathes for the Bills

• Generosity: a culture that finds a place in their hearts to be generous

• Honor: a culture that knows how to honor those that have graced the uniform and those who cheer the loudest

• Respect: a culture that respects the grounds built for them 

It's also a place to call home through: 

• Football: the place where every football fan wants to be, and the place where every visiting team hates to play

• Functionality: the place where no one notices the things that make it function well

• Comfort: the place where it feels warm and safe; safe for families 

• Thoughtfulness: the place every other NFL franchise will say, ‘Wow, they thought of everything,” 

• Experience: the place where fans experience the loudest, vibrant, toughest, ground shaking Bills football



The American Bison sculpture commission location and budget are as follows:

Location: Exterior Family Circle  

Budget: up to $5,000,000 (five million US dollars), all inclusive

Budget includes, but is not limited to, semifinalist stipends, design fees, travel, engineering, fabrication, supplies, material costs, meeting and administration hours, labor, artists legal review fees, approval by a New York-licensed engineer, permits, licenses, lighting, equipment rental, shipping, delivery, documentation, installation.


Application Requirements

RFQ Submission Materials

Please submit the following via by no later than Monday, April 29, 2024 by 11:59 p.m. MST. Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered. Submissions emailed, mailed, or hand-delivered outside of intake program will not be considered. The Buffalo Bills Art Program Consultant, Stakeholders and/or Administrators reserve the right to conduct on-site or telephone interviews to clarify submission materials as needed. 

No new artwork proposals are needed at the RFQ phase. Only semifinalists invited to the RFP phase will create artwork proposals for review. The selected Shortlisted Artists will be notified by May 2024.

Artist Statement/Team bio

• briefly introduce yourself/your team

Letter of Interest, up to 1-page

• Clearly describe your interest in the project and how you/your team will be able to contribute to its success.

• Articulate your interest and/or experience in public art design, fabrication &/or project collaboration.

• Summarize your experience in developing and/or executing creative projects of this scope in the public realm at stadiums, Buffalo NY (if applicable), Municipal buildings, and beyond (i.e. site-specific art installations, interactive and participatory artworks, multimedia projects, creative placemaking events, festivals, etc.).


• Include a resume/CV for each member of your team, if applicable, (combine as a multi-page document for upload)

• Artist’s Experience: list your professional experience including any commissions,

residencies, touring, exhibitions, collaborations, and projects involving the community, and

work in the public sector.

• Education: list your educational background and training

• Experience working with organizations, institutions, developers, locally and beyond


• 3 professional references

Images, video, audio or multi-media

A relevant body of work that demonstrates conceptual, aesthetic, and technical mastery

in at least one artistic medium. Attach up to 10 .pdf or jpg. images &/or links to audio and/or video files.

• Include descriptions within your uploaded portfolio images &/or attach an Image list with title date, materials, size and budget.


Evaluation Criteria

The Selection Panel will use the following evaluation criteria to select an artist or artist team:

• Excellence: Works of art in the artist's portfolio are original, innovative, of exceptional quality and enduring value.

• Relevant prior experience: The artist has created projects of a similar scale and budget and has experience coordinating with multiple stakeholders; or, is jointly submitting the qualifications of a collaborator that has created such projects and that has such experience.

• Appropriateness to site and project: Works of art in the portfolio indicate that the artist is likely to be sensitive to the subject matter, social, economic, cultural, historical and physical context of the site and the surrounding neighborhood, either existing or planned.

• Durability: Works of art in the artist's portfolio utilize materials and processes likely to contribute to the longevity of public works of art, especially for projects that will be located outdoors, or is willing to adopt such practices by collaborating with a partner with relevant specialized expertise.


Selection Process

The Buffalo Bills Art Program at New Highmark Stadium will convene one or more selection panels to evaluate the submissions. Selection panels are comprised of arts professionals, project stakeholders, and community members. 

Up to 3-5 semi-finalists will be selected, provided additional site information, and paid a $5,000 stipend to develop a proposal (RFP) to present to the selection panel. The artist/artist teams will present their proposal directly to the selection panel. The selection panel will review the semi-finalist proposals, budget plan, and qualifications (images of work, resume/CV, letter of interest, references), and select one or more artist(s)/artist teams, and one alternate. The selected artist/artist team's proposal will be approved by the Selection Panel and Project Stakeholders prior to development of a contract. All contracts may be subject to approval by Buffalo Bills ownership.

Semi-finalist and finalist artists seeking assistance with project contract requirements should contact


Selected artists will be required to sign a contract outlining expectations, timelines, and requirements for creating art at the New Highmark Stadium.

For questions outside of the Buffalo Bills Art Program scope of services, artists may be referred to other resources. Buffalo Bills employees and/or contractors are not authorized to give legal advice to artists. Semi-finalist and finalist artists may find it advantageous to consult with an attorney while discussing contract terms with Buffalo Bills New Highmark Stadium.

Question and Answer Period

Questions related to this project should be sent to no later than April 15, 2024.


RFQ issued: March 22, 2024

Public Outreach Sessions, as needed:  March-April 2024, Dates TBD

Questions due to by April 15th, 2024

Answers to questions issued by addendum to RFQ: by week of April 15th, 2024

RFQ DUE: Monday April 29, 2024 11:59pm MST    

Shortlist Artist notified: by week of May 15, 2024 

RFP issued: week of May 15, 2024

RFP infosessions with semi-finalists: mid May 2024

RFP DUE: Monday July 15, 2024 

Semi-finalist application review/ interviews conducted: week of July 22, 2024

Finalist notified: by end of July 2024

Contract finalist artist: 30-60 days + onboarding 

Site Visits/Travel: Dates TBD, 2024-2026

Design, Coordination, Fabrication: Summer 2024- Spring/Summer 2026

Artwork installation completed no later than: Spring/Summer 2026

Stadium Opens: Fall 2026


Artist Information Sessions

Public video conferences “Artist Information Sessions” may be recorded for later review. Questions and answers resulting from these sessions will be added to this RFQ as an FAQ Addendum.

For additional information or questions email:

Contact: Holly Hayden, Public Art Consultant & Artist Liaison

Buffalo Bills Art Program at New Highmark Stadium


ADDENDUM Q&A  added 04/15/24 

Reminder: Only application items uploaded through will be reviewed 

1.) Q: Is this Call only for sculptures? Can I submit my portfolio for murals/mosaics/photography/2-D work?

A: This call is for large scale exterior bison sculptures only. Over the next year there will be additional Calls for Art for artworks of various mediums (i.e. 2-D), sizes, budgets, and locations within the Stadium. Keep an eye out for those Opportunities next year. To prepare, if you don't already have a CallforEntry account, you can set one up for free and upload portfolio images to apply for upcoming Art Calls and Opportunities nationally.

2.) Q: You have noted the Eligibility is National and not international and it is in this light am reaching out to inquire whether we can apply. We are located in "country outside of US".

A: We specifically selected National vs. International as the parameters due to ease of site visits, material importing/shipping costs, timing of deliverables, and contractual obligations. As an Artist or Artist team outside of the US, it would be beneficial to partner with a stateside entity that would apply with you, coordinate the contract parameters, receive payments, and provide a fabrication location within the US. If you are able to partner with a US entity, we encourage you to apply.

3.) Q: I have an idea for a proposal, can I send it to you?

A: At this stage of RFQ, we are only looking at Qualifications, not proposals at this time. Sharing your overall vision and process can be included in your letter of interest to get the Selection Panel excited to see more. After review of RFQ applicants, Only the shortlisted semi-finalists will be provided construction documents, elevations, and specs about the artwork installation site area and paid a stipend to create a full proposal (RFP) for us.

4.) Q: I have Bison artwork I want to donate to you. How do I do that?

A: We are not accepting artwork donations. At this time, the Calls for Art for Highmark Stadium will be for new custom commissioned artwork.

5.) Q: You appear to want realistic buffalo depicted in this project. Are you open to a more stylized interpretation?

A: Realistic (i.e. "Recognizable") bison is the overall vision, but stylized use of materials//unconventional processes would be considered. Material specifics & specs will be determined in the RFP stage by the semi-finalists. Sharing your overall vision and process, along with images of previous artworks, can be included in your letter of interest to get the Selection Panel excited to see more of your artwork style.

6.) Q: Will the fans be able to get close enough to the statue to touch it? If so, are you open to  interactive elements?

A: The bison will be on an elevated plinth with a small barrier/fence surrounding. Fans will be near but the intention is Not for fans to touch, climb, or directly physically interact with the bison sculptures. Other forms of interactivity may be considered (ex. motion/proximity/sound/lighting interactive elements). 

7.) Q: I don't see any elevations or site plans for the bison area. 
A: After review of RFQ applicants, only the shortlisted semi-finalists will be provided construction documents, elevations, drawings and specs about the artwork installation site area and paid a stipend to create a full proposal (RFP) for us. Materials subject to change upon selection of final artists proposal.

8.) Q: What are the dimensions of Bison Sculptures exhibit area in the Family Circle?

A: See answer to Question 7

9.) Q: What is the height and material of the Bison Sculpture plinth?

A: Plinth will be concrete & approx 4' h. RFP construction documents to semifinalists will further explain the area & specs. Materials subject to change upon selection of final artists proposal. See answer to Question 7

10.) Q: What is the approximate number of bison imagined in the herd?

A: A "family" or "herd" of bison is imagined ... at least 3 minimum.

11.) Q: Will the public be able to mingle around the installed Bison Sculptures?

A: Yes, the Family Circle area will be a place for fans to mingle, take photos, and learn about the history of the Buffalo Bills & surrounding area. Allowing the viewers direct access to touch or climb the sculptures is not recommended. See videos within RFQ explaining the area.

12.) Q: What kind of security is planned to monitor the Bison environment?

A: The Family Circle area is located within the Stadium grounds. Highmark Stadium is monitored by security at all times. During game days, security is increased, but the artwork is not intended to be directly interacted with or need additional security features for this common public area.

13.) Q:  Is the selection committee expecting strict realism for the Bison sculptures? 

A: See answer to Question 5 

14.) Q: Is the proposed art medium restricted to bronze, or will other media be considered?

A: Other mediums may be considered. Artists should consider exterior elements (i.e. wind, rain, snow, temperature fluctuations, etc), durability, size, weight, and maintenance in selecting appropriate materials. Additional elements such as specialized lighting, technology, or any moving parts should have thoughtful consideration.

For additional information or questions email:

Contact: Holly Hayden, Public Art Consultant & Artist Liaison

Buffalo Bills Art Program at New Highmark Stadium


Eligibility Criteria

Professional visual artists, or artist teams, must be at least 18 years of age and living in the United States. Demonstrated experience creating large scale public art and working with diverse community stakeholders is desired. Full-time employees of Buffalo Bills, Bills Stadium & Events Company, LLC, the County of Erie (including any appointees thereof), Erie County Stadium Corporation (including any appointees thereof) and each of their respective project consultants, project contractors, and employees and subcontractors are ineligible to apply.