Calls for Change
Roger Goodell is making no secret about the fact that he thinks the Bills needs to replace New Era Field. This week he was playing in the charity golf tournament of Jim Kelly, and he used his moment with reporters to state that he believes that the stadium needs to be replaced. Goodell is justifying his statement with concerns about the need to ensure that the franchise remains stable. The stadium can also be an economic injection into the community. This is not the first time that Goodell expressed his opinion regarding the stadium. Already in 2016, he made remarks concerning the fact that the Bills need to remain in line with other NFL facilities.
Footing the Bill
The topic has also been discussed with team owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim. The question remains about who is going to pay the billion-dollar bill for a new stadium. Another problem is also whether the stadium is as essential. Maybe the players are justified in no small investment rather than the building which is representing the team. Alternatively, some upgrades can also be considered. The Bills is getting a new turf field during the year, and maybe updates is a more sensible option right now, rather than replacing. For now, we all need to wait to hear on decisions made. This leaves plenty of time for reminiscence about New Era Field.
New Era Field
Firstly, it was named Rich Stadium and then from 1998 to 2015, it was called the Ralph Wilson Stadium. Currently, as we know it, New Era Field is home to the Buffalo Bills. The field opened up in 1973, and presently the naming rights belong to New Era Cap Company.
The first thirteen seasons for the Buffalo Bills was played at War Memorial Stadium. New Era Field or the “Rockpile” as it was better known in the 1960s was at that stage in need of repairs, and it could also only seat 47 000, which meant that it was too small for NFL. It was only in 1971 that Buffalo Bills owner, Ralph Wilson started to look around for new locations to relocate the team also, that the construction work on the stadium was sped up to avoid the Bills from leaving Buffalo. In 1973 Rich Stadium was open. Luxurious Products, a company operating in the Buffalo food industry, had a 25-year deal to the value of US$1.5 million, which ensured that the stadium should be referred to as the Rich Stadium.
This was a groundbreaking event in the industry of naming rights. It turned out to be such a serious business that resulted in $7.5 Million USD being invested into Rich Products. The lawsuit against the team for regularly referring to the stadium without calling it Rich Stadium. In 2016 New Era Cap Company came to an agreement with the Buffalo Bills regarding naming rights, and it was renamed New Era Field five days later. Back in 2019, we can only wait to see what is going to happen in the future of New Era Field and the Bills.