The Buffalo Bills are looking for a new stadium naming rights partner after their deal with New Era expired in January. New Era is based in Buffalo, but the two sides have agreed to part ways.
Most professional sports teams have little trouble finding suitors for stadium naming rights deals, and Buffalo is already drawing interest from a notable company. According to founder David Portnoy, Barstool Sports is interested in forming a deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Portnoy took to Twitter last week to express his desire to speak with the Buffalo Bills and assured that he was very serious about this endeavor. Barstool Sports is a huge media-based sports company, and Portnoy believes that his company and the Bill would make a perfect fit.
Barstool Sports is known for taking a unique and edgy approach when discussing sports, and the Bills fans, known as the “Bills Mafia,” are that same way. The Bills have announced that their stadium in Orchard Park will be known as “Bills Stadium” until another partner is found.
History in the Making?
The National Football League has just recently been open to the idea of sports betting being involved in the game. For years the league has tried to keep the sports betting industry away from NFL stadiums and fields, but that changed in 2018.
When the United States Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, the industry took off, and it has not slowed down since that time. The NFL, and the other major professional sports in the US, have all been open to the industry in the last 12-18 months.
The NFL sent out a memo earlier this year that allowed teams to pursue partnership deals with companies in the sports betting industry. The Denver Broncos were the first to act, but others are expected to follow suit.
If Barstool Sports does have official stadium naming rights in Buffalo, it would be the first time that a sports betting company has landed such a deal. Gila River Casino in Arizona was close in 2017, but the rights were eventually awarded to State Farm Insurance.
Barstool Sports is now a partner with Penn National Gaming, and they are set to launch sportsbooks in several states throughout the US. Penn National will have the opportunity to own a majority of the company in the coming years.
Big Year For Bills?
The “Bills Mafia” have waited a long time for a great Bills team, but many believe that this could be the year. Buffalo has made the playoffs in both 2017 and 2019, and they reached the postseason last year with a very young team.
Buffalo plays in the AFC East, and that division has been dominated by the New England Patriots over the last decade-plus. With Tom Brady gone from New England, this could be a chance for the Bills to advantage and win the division.
Bills Stadium has a capacity of more than 71,000, and an adjacent parking lot can hold more than 10,000 vehicles.