Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy Interested in NFL Buffalo Bills Stadium Naming Rights

Posted on: August 21, 2020, 08:03h. 

Last updated on: August 21, 2020, 10:30h.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy says his sports media company is interested in pursuing the naming rights to the NFL Buffalo Bills stadium.

Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy Buffalo Bills
Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports (right) plans to make a bid for the company to acquire the naming rights to the Buffalo Bills stadium. (Image: Barstool Sports)

The Bills and New Era, a headwear company headquartered in Buffalo, ended their marketing partnership in January of this year. The team announced yesterday that for the 2020-21 season, Buffalo’s NFL home will no longer be called New Era Field, but “Bills Stadium.”

“As we continue the transition process from New Era Field to a new naming rights partner, we will officially use the name Bills Stadium for our home in Orchard Park,” a team statement read.

Portnoy says Barstool could be a perfect fit for the Bills, a team whose rowdy “Mafia” fan base tailgating shenanigans are unlike any other NFL franchise.

After a brief conversation with those who matter, I am here to say we are very serious about buying the naming rights of the Buffalo Bills stadium and will enter the process,” Portnoy tweeted.

He later added, “And by serious, I mean very, very serious.”

Why It Matters

The “big four” professional sports leagues, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, along with the NCAA, for decades adamantly opposed sports betting. Their coalition was largely led by the NFL, the sport that attracts the most betting each year in the United States.

The NFL was the last of the four major pro sports leagues to embrace sports betting, even after the US Supreme Court said in May of 2018 that the federal ban was unconstitutional.

Things have greatly changed over the past two years. NFL teams can now accept marketing sponsorships from companies invested in the sports gambling space. Several teams have reached deals designating platforms like DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel as “official sports betting partners.”

Several commercial and tribal casino operators, including MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Pechanga Resort Casino, and Oneida Casino have been designated as an “official casino partner” for various teams. Seneca Resorts and Casinos is the “Official Casino of the Buffalo Bills.”

But to date, no casino or sports betting entity has landed the major naming rights to an NFL stadium. The Arizona Cardinals came close in 2017. One of the state’s tribal casino operators, Gila River, negotiated with the NFL team that year. But the stadium naming rights were ultimately awarded to State Farm Insurance.

Bills Stadium Details

The Bills stadium has a capacity of 71,621 people, with 121 suites and 8,262 club seats. The venue opened in August of 1973 and underwent a $130 million renovation in 2013.

The parking lot can accommodate 10,000 cars, 150 buses, and 250 campers.

Buffalo has reached the NFL Playoffs just two times since 2000, but those two instances came in 2017 and 2019.