Buffalo Bills, New Era agree to end deal for stadium naming rights
The Buffalo Bills announced on Wednesday that New Era has requested to be released from the naming rights for their stadium.
In 2016, the Buffalo Bills agreed to a seven-year deal with New Era Cap for the naming rights to what was then Ralph Wilson Stadium. However, that deal has come to an end in a recent announcement by the Bills that New Era has asked to be released from that contract.
In a tweet sent out by the Bills, they wrote they are honoring this request and have begun the process to find a new sponsor for their stadium.
This announcement comes after politicians, including Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, said New Era should no longer have their name on the stadium after the company laid off over 100 employees. He said “the company would not exist without the hard work of the people from our community.”
The Buffalo Bills stadium was built in the 1970s and over the years has had a number of names starting with Rich Stadium. However, once that deal expired the stadium was named after the Buffalo Bills original owner, Ralph Wilson. It was named Ralph Wilson Stadium from 1998 until the New Era deal was struck in August of 2016.
The topic of the Bills stadium is something that seems to be discussed on a yearly basis as some believe the team will need a new stadium, or significant renovations in the near future. Earlier this year, Roger Goodell himself even said he wants the Bills to remain in Buffalo and a new stadium could help “the franchise remain stable here and continue to stay competitive.”
It is certainly going to be interesting to see how the Pegulas move forward and if they elect to find a new corporate sponsor for the stadium. The Buffalo Bills owners could also elect to revert back to Ralph Wilson Stadium, however the naming rights for stadiums is very lucrative and it is hard to imagine passing on something like that.