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A New Era For The Naming Of The Buffalo Bills' Stadium

Aug 13, 2016

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Ralph Wilson Stadium is entering a New Era.

The Buffalo Bills announced on their Twitter account on Saturday that have reached an agreement to sell the naming rights of their home stadium to Buffalo-based New Era Cap Company.

The team did not provide any further details except to say a news conference will be held next week.

Two people with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press the deal will run over the remainder of the team's seven-year lease. New Era also has the right of first refusal to continue the agreement once the current lease expires in 2022, and also if the Bills elect to build anew facility.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team and New Era have not disclosed that information.

The people said the agreement was reached about 10 days ago, and after the Bills made a formal presentation to New Era company officials about six weeks ago.

The Bills stadium is named after the team's late Hall of Fame owner, Ralph Wilson, who died in March 2014.

Wilson elected to place his name on the stadium in 1999, after a 25-year naming agreement expired with Buffalo-based Rich Products.

The Bills first began considering selling the stadium's naming rights about four years ago.

New Era is the world's largest outfitter of team caps, having struck 500 licensing deals worldwide, including the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL. The company's products are sold in more than 80 countries.

New Era was established in Buffalo in 1920 and now controls about 66 percent of the sports cap headwear market.