Check Out The History Behind The Names Of The Buffalo Bills Stadium
As of last week, New Era Field is no more and now the home of the Buffalo Bills is known as Buffalo Bills Stadium.
Just four years after signing a naming rights deal. New Era Cap Company asked to be released from their naming rights agreement with the Bills. Now that means, since it was open 1973, The Buffalo Bills Stadium will have a new name for the fourth time.
Here is a look at the Naming history of Buffalo Bills Stadium.
When the Bills joined the NFL as part of the AFL/NFL merger, the NFL had a mandate that all stadiums must hold at least 50,000 people. The current home of the Bills at the time was War Memorial Stadium aka "The Old Rockpile" and it didn't meet the league minimum standard which meant the Bills needed to find a new home.
After much debate and a proposed domed stadium in Lancaster, The Bills settled on building an open-air stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
When the stadium was first opened in 1973, the naming rights were sold to Rich Product. According to Wikipedia, the naming rights deal was for 25 years and worth 1.5 million dollars or around $60,000 a year.
When the 25-year deal was over in 1988, Rich Products passed on a new naming rights deal and the Stadium was named to honor the Bills Owner Ralph Wilson.
On August 13th, 2016 it was announced that the naming rights to the stadium were sold to the New Era Cap Company and the stadium would be known as "New Era Field"
Since that deal is now done, the Bills are currently looking for a new naming rights sponsor.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, the first Bills stadium could have been a Domed stadium in Lancaster near the High School. That proposal was passed on by Ralph Wilson because he wanted an open-air stadium that held 70,000 people. The dome proposal allowed for only 50,000 fans.
Check out this video about the proposed Domed Stadium.