The Buffalo Bills recently announced their stadium in Orchard Park, New York, will temporarily go by the generic moniker of Bills Stadium until a new sponsor is found.
“As we continue the transition process from New Era Field to a new naming rights partner, we will officially use the name Bills Stadium for our home in Orchard Park,” the team said in a statement.
The news comes a little more than a month after New Era Cap Co., a Buffalo-based headwear and apparel company, asked the team to be released from their naming rights contract. The two sides were in the midst of a seven-year, $35 million contract signed ahead of the 2016 season, but New Era has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and recently laid off 187 employees.
This marks the third name change for the venue since it opened as Rich Stadium in 1973. When the Bills’ 25-year deal with Rich Products, a local food products company, expired in 1998, the stadium was renamed after team founder Ralph Wilson.
With a seating capacity of 71,621 fans, Bills Stadium is the 10th largest venue in the NFL. The playing field is 50 feet below ground level while the upper deck is just 60 feet above ground, giving it a more intimate look from the outside than other stadiums.
That said, the Bills announced on Tuesday they will play the first two home games of the season (Sept. 13 against the New York Jets and Sept. 27 against the Los Angeles Rams) without fans in attendance in accordance with New York State guidelines. Their next home game after that is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Photos courtesy of the Buffalo Bills.