Just wanted to gauge what my fellow Rumblers feel about naming the Buffalo Bills stadium, whether it's the current Ralph Wilson Stadium or if the Bills get a new stadium in downtown Buffalo, Niagara or anywhere else.
Stadium naming rights are a lucrative business nowadays. The Bills have struggled in the past to sell luxury boxes, apart from the fact that the Ralph doesn't have enough to begin with, which is an important facet in the new stadium conversation. Selling the naming rights long-term is one way to raise a big chunk of change upfront for the construction of a new stadium. Of course, the Bills will have to do a bang-up job marketing the team considering they haven't made the playoffs in a while, but at the same time, natives of WNY don't necessarily need to be convinced to support the Bills, it's what we do and who we are.
Even if the Bills decide to not move to a new facility for the next few years, there is already construction underway to upgrade the current stadium and the cash influx from selling the stadium name would be a welcome boost. It would also be a way to court more financial interest from Canadian sponsors, especially now that the Toronto series is a thing of the past.
There's also the whole business about selling the Bills franchise. It is entirely feasible that the new ownership could attempt to recoup some of the costs involved in purchasing the team by selling the naming rights soon after. Would that be a PR mistake by the new owner(s)? Could they honor him by continuing to have his name associated with the team in some other way?
With the passing of Ralph Wilson, the sentimentality factor also comes into play. He was the only owner that the Bills have ever known, and did a lot to shape the NFL in its early days as well as keeping the team in WNY. To honor his legacy, his name must continue to be associated with the team in some form or the other. Maybe keep the stadium name as it is but sell the rights to the fieldhouse? Or vice versa?
Would love to hear your opinions -
- If the Bills stay at the Ralph, should they keep the name or sell the naming rights?
- If the Bills move to a new stadium in WNY, should they name it the Ralph again, or sell the naming rights?