Just last month, which seems like a distant memory, New Era Stadium would forever be unassociated with the field in Orchard Park. And honestly, I haven’t heard a single complaint. Personally, ever since the self-proclaimed nickname of “The Cap” came around, I couldn’t care less about the name New Era. Growing up, I’ve always called it The Ralph, and I’m sure that’s true with lots of Bills fans, especially the younger generation that includes myself.
Last week, the Bills revealed the new name at One Bills Drive would be simply, Bills Stadium. Obviously, this is just a placement name until a new name/sponsor is found. It’s not as if we’ll permanently name it something so generic. It would be similar to naming your organization the Football Teams. In this article, we’ll explore the options to name the beloved home of Bills Mafia and the likeliness of them.
Many companies have already have come out and said they will not put their hat in the ring. Local places such as Wegmans and Paychex have both said they will not submit bids. Longtime sponsor, Toyota, have also feigned interest, alongside the Sabres rink’s sponsor, Keybank. Bidet company, Tushy, supposedly had a bid in place, but I believe those chances are obviously in the toilet. With those out of the way, here are my top five most wanted and likely potential new names.
Number 5: Frank’s Field
I’ll start off by saying this: this is very much a longshot of an idea. But you can’t tell me this name isn’t perfect for Buffalo. For Frank’s to be able to pair with the arguable chicken wing capital of the United States, it’s a win-win. Just think, Josh Allen and Tre White reenacting their thanksgiving turkey leg moment with a Frank’s commercial. That thing would go viral for all the right reasons.
Number 4: Marv Levy Stadium
In a petition made a couple of weeks back, Bills Mafia member, Richard Luchette, posted a petition on change.org discussing the idea. Personally, I think this would be an amazing way to honor such a legendary coach. I wasn’t alive during his tenure, but his legacy is still palpable. However, I think this could be really tough without a sponsor attached. The only way I could see this happen is if some alumni were potentially able to group together the money and make it happen. If there’s a member of those legendary Bills teams to get the honor, Marv should be the one.
Number 3: Rich Stadium
In a world where so many people are into retro things, myself included, why not bring back a classic? And, what’ll it hurt to bring back the name of the stadium that brought so many playoff wins? After all, Rich Foods is still doing massively well. Again, Rich was way before my time, but it could combine both older fans and more recent fans. My dad, for example, attended games at Rich Stadium in the 80s and 90s during the peak of the Bills history, along with many others. I feel like personally, I’m a part of the second wave of Bills success. And, I think this would be the perfect way to combine the two eras together and relive the times of the past with today under the same-named stadium.
Number 2: Barstool Sports Park
I’m either going to get lots of love or lots of hate for this opinion: I would be deeply infatuated with this idea. Obviously, Dave Portnoy, CEO of Barstool, may not be Joe Perfect, but he’s a character, and we embrace those guys in WNY. I might be personally biased, but Barstool has always been one of my favorite platforms for sports, whether it be from the Pardon My Take podcast to Section 10 for baseball with Jared Carrabis. I think Buffalo is the perfect representation of Barstool, with crazy fans who are diehard for their sports teams. However, this may not be as likely, due to Portnoy’s rift with commissioner Goodell. But hey, crazier things have happened with the Bills. I think this idea might be viewed like Kyle Orton’s year with the Bills: unliked at first, but yields good results.
Number 1: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Last but not least, why not just go back to what it was before New Era? When the nickname of the stadium is already still The Ralph, it should be quite easy to change it back to its previous name. Many people including myself still do call it Ralph Wilson Stadium, so why not? Although a sponsor may be needed in order to satisfy this, it’s definitely not impossible for it to be on its own. Take Cincinnati for example, who still call Paul Brown Stadium home now. In my perfect world, I think something could be figured out as early as this season. Since there’s truly no rush for finding a sponsor in an outlandish season, why not make the placeholder name Ralph Wilson stadium instead. I think almost all Bills fans could agree that the Ralph has never really left the name, but it should officially stay.