Photo of an empty Ralph Wilson Stadium. Home of the Buffalo Bills. 

Image Credit: Mike Cardus (CC BY 2.0)

Ralph Wilson Stadium has been the home of the Buffalo Bills since 1973 and is the sixth oldest stadium in the National Football League. As of yesterday, the Buffalo Bills organization will change the stadium's name to New Era Stadium or a similar name for the 2016 NFL season after selling the stadium's naming rights to New Era Cap Company. At the time of it's founding, the stadium was named after Rich Products, a local food company. The stadium changed it's name to Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1998 in honor of Ralph Wilson, the long time owner of the Buffalo Bills. 

New Era Cap Company was founded in 1920 by Ehrhardt Koch, a German immigrant that settled in Buffalo. Today, the company boasts annual revenues in the neighborhood of $700 million. The terms of the deal were not disclosed although we do know that it will run until 2023 when the team's lease with the stadium expires. Mary Wilson, the widow of owner Ralph Wilson, has given the organization permission to change the stadium's name. However, sources inside the Buffalo Bills organization hint that Ralph Wilson's name could be implemented into the stadium's new name as well. 

There are only four remaining teams in the National Football League that have yet to sell the naming rights to their stadiums; the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. The people most annoyed with naming rights deals seem to be NFL fans who dislike the idea of the frequent name changes. Fans also dislike the idea of big corporations intruding into the sports world, which most fans consider to be a decent distraction from the corporate world. 

The Buffalo Bills have long been rumored to be one of the most likely candidates for relocation to another city. Toronto, Ontario was the leading candidate to inherit the Buffalo Bills although Roger Goodell doesn't seem to be as warm to the idea as once before. The saga took an unusual twist two years ago when Donald Trump showed interest in purchasing the Buffalo Bills following the death of owner Ralph Wilson. 

In other Buffalo Bills related news, fans will now cross the security checkpoint before Bills home games via a metal detection system. The game day staff will no longer use a wand to frisk fans before entering the stadium. To see an updated list of items you'll be able to bring into the stadium, check out




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