By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A person familiar with discussions confirmed to The Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills hired Populous architectural firm to draw up designs for the team’s proposed new stadium. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills and their parent company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, have not announced the decision. The Athletic first reported the news earlier in the day. The firm’s hiring is another signal the team is closing in on a financing agreement with the state and county to fund the stadium which is estimated to cost $1.354 billion. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul last week expressed confidence a deal will be reached in time to have it placed on the state budget due early next month.