New Era Field is no more.
The Buffalo Bills and New Era Cap Company announced the termination of their naming rights deal on the National Football League stadium, the two entities announced Wednesday in a joint statement.
New Era, which just last week laid off 117 employees, sought release from a seven-year, $35 million deal that was established in 2016 for the nearly 47-year-old stadium once named after legendary Bills owner Ralph Wilson.
“New Era has asked to be released from their naming rights deal with the Bills,” the statement read. “The Bills and New Era are currently negotiating the details of the separation and the Bills are beginning the process of pursuing a new naming rights partner for the stadium.”
The family-owned company, which has made baseball caps, head gear and apparel since 1920 in Buffalo, gave no additional reason for the announcement.
The stadium is in Orchard Park, N.Y., and has been home to the Bills since 1973. It was originally named after Rich Products, a local food production company that paid a modest $1.5 million for 25 years in one of the earliest examples of a stadium naming-rights deal. The Bills are nearing the end of their lease with Erie County, which owns and operates the facility. It expires after the 2023 season.
The team is now owned by Terry and Kim Pegula, who also own the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League. Though there have been no layoffs at the football team, last month 22 employees were let go from the hockey team, including general manager Jason Botterill.