Bills stadium has new name: Josh Allen will throw passes at Highmark Stadium

Sal Maiorana
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
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It was known as Bills Stadium in 2020, but now the home of the Buffalo Bills will be called Highmark Stadium.

Highmark Stadium.

For the next several years – the exact number is not yet known – that’s what the Buffalo Bills’ stadium in Orchard Park will be called after the team and Highmark BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York came to an agreement for the health care company to procure naming rights.

“We are proud to welcome Highmark to the Buffalo Bills family and we are thrilled to partner with them on a new naming rights deal for our stadium,” said Bills president and co-owner Kim Pegula in a statement Monday. “We are confident that Highmark BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is committed to maintaining their status as a healthcare and philanthropic leader in our region. We look forward to many years of working together with their team creating great memories at not only NFL football games, but at many other health and wellness events and community celebrations.”

Highmark becomes the fifth name for the venue that was opened in 1973, originally named Rich Stadium. Since then it has also been called Ralph Wilson Stadium, New Era Field and Bills Stadium.

The Buffalo Bills announced that Highmark BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York will be the new naming rights partner for the team's stadium.

It is expected that details of the naming agreement will be released Tuesday.

“The Bills are a beloved institution in Western New York, and there is no better way for Highmark BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York to show that we plan to continue to be part of the fabric of this community than through this partnership," CEO of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York David Anderson said in a statement.

The statement went on to read: “Under the agreement, and as part of Highmark’s commitment as a regional health plan, local employer, and strong corporate citizen, the Bills and Highmark will work together towards enhancing regional health and wellness through various activation opportunities at Highmark Stadium. In the future, we hope the stadium will serve as a home for health and wellness events for children, families, and our community. Fans can expect to see the signage transformation completed over the coming months and will be in place by the kickoff of the Bills 2021 season in September.”

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This deal came together in the wake of New Era being forced to pull out of its contract prior to the 2020 season due to financial difficulties within the company. New Era’s contract was originally a seven-year deal running through 2022 at a cost of $4 million per year.

By the time that deal was discontinued, and with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the country, the Bills could not find a new company to step up and purchase the naming rights so the team adopted the name Bills Stadium for 2020.

As one of the smallest markets in the NFL, the Highmark deal will likely pale in comparison to the most recent NFL stadium naming rights deal for the new stadium in Los Angeles that is home to both the Rams and Chargers. Investment firm SoFi will pay $400 million over the next 20 years.

The most recent naming rights deal to be finalized among the four major team sports was in Miami last week when the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat, formerly known as American Airlines Arena, became FTX Arena. FTX, an obscure cryptocurrency exchange, signed a 19-year deal worth $135 million.

Sal Maiorana can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana. 

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