New Era Field (Home of the Buffalo Bills)

When the Buffalo Bills began to play in 1960, their home venue was War Memorial Stadium. Built in 1936, the “Rockpile” was a 36,500-seat facility located in Buffalo at Jefferson and Best streets. In 1965, the open air, natural grass facility was expanded by adding an upper deck to increase capacity to 46,206.

Years of extreme weather and the popularity of the Bills led to the creation of a larger facility. A 113-acre tract of land approximately 30 minutes from downtown Buffalo was selected and groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted in Orchard Park on April 4, 1972, for the new football complex. To form the lower level of the stadium, more than 370,000 feet of shale were removed – putting the field 50 feet below ground level. Construction was completed in slightly over 14 months and on August 17, 1973, the stadium was officially opened as the Bills played host to the Washington Redskins.

Since the stadium’s original construction, the facility has seen many changes. In 1984, the stadium’s capacity was increased to 80,290 with the addition of 16 executive suites on the top floor of the administration building. Eight years later, 24 more suites were constructed in the west end zone and shared restrooms were added to the original suites. The Red Zone and Goal Line indoor clubs were added in 1994, offering fans a comfortable atmosphere as each of the two blocks of 500 seats are enclosed in glass. Also in 1994, 14 new suites were added, bringing the grand total to 88 luxury boxes. The 1994 expansion project also brought the team the largest JumboTron in the United States. This mammoth videoboard measured 31.5 feet high by 41.5 feet wide. Some of the capabilities of the videoboard include full-color instant replays, live action shots, crowd shots, out-of-town highlights, animations and various in-stadium shots from cameras exclusive to videoboard usage. In addition, a black and white Daktronics Scoreboard matrix system designed to complement the Sony JumboTron was installed.

In 1999 crews completed a seven-month stadium overhaul that included constructing 76 brand-new dugout suites and two new enclosed club sections each containing 500 seats. Fans in the dugout suites watch the action just 40 rows from the field. In addition, the Bills replaced 6,800 seats in the sideline club sections with revolutionary contoured heated seats, the first of their kind in North America. Renovations also included four new restroom towers, upgraded stadium lighting and a state-of- the-art sound system.

In 2007, the Bills introduced a new Mitsubishi high definition LED video display scoreboard measuring 33.5 feet by 82.8 feet. The accompanied new HD Digital Screen Controller allowed for the simultaneous display of up to three multiple images (or one full screen image). This installation was only the second true high definition display in the NFL, largely as a result of the integral HD Processor used to produce the necessary lines of resolution (1080), to accurately depict an HD image. In addition, the Bills installed over 1,000 feet of Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED Ribbon Boards on the fascia of the bowl seating areas. The traditional scoring system is encompassed within this state-of–the-art display along with dynamic sponsor ads, player/team statistics and fan prompts.

In 2011, the team installed a new playing surface, A-Turf Titan. It is the top synthetic turf system available and is noted as the industry’s top performing system by providing the perfect balance of traction, foot release, and unparalleled durability.

In 2013, a $130 million construction project was unveiled that includes renovations and improvements to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Work also includes new technology implementation, a new west end plaza that is inclusive of a new team store and enhanced gate entries, renovated and expanded concessions, restrooms, and a training facility. Construction began in May 2013 and was completed at the start of the 2014 season.

In 2015, with the stadium renovations complete, the stadium successfully returned to the concert business by selling out Hall of Fame rock ‘n roll band, the Rolling Stones, for what has been described as the all-time greatest concert in the history of the venue. In addition, they hosted another stadium show later that summer with One Direction to put themselves back on the stadium concert tour map. 

In 2016, Ralph Wilson Stadium’s new name became New Era Field. Also in 2016, New Era Field experienced an all-time low in fan behavior incidents, and Bills fans won the NFL’s Annual Responsibility Bowl for the third straight season while also finishing #2 in the entire NFL for Designated Driver pledges.  The Bills commitment to addressing fan conduct and promoting responsibility has resulted in very significant improvements over the past five seasons, and the team has seen a positive culture change take place at New Era Field with fan conduct and the Fan Experience.  The Fan Experience at New Era Field remains a focal point for the Bills, their proud and loyal fans, and the Western New York community.

 

 

NEW ERA FIELD FACTS & FIGURES

  • Capacity: 71,608
  • Luxury Boxes: 121 Suites
  • 8,325 Club Seats
  • Construction Started: 4/4/72
  • Area Covering: 197 acres
  • Officially Opened: 8/17/73
  • Field Level: 50 ft. below ground level
  • Upper Deck: 60 ft. above ground level
  • Surface: A-Turf Titan 50
  • Restrooms: 135 locations
  • Parking Facilities: 10,000 cars, 300 buses, 150 campers
  • Current Surface Installed: 2011
  • Stadium Lighting: LED 2017
  • First Regular Season Game: Bills 9, Jets 7 (9/30/73)
  • Largest Crowd: 80,368 vs. Miami, 10/4/92
  • Recent Concerts:  Rolling Stones (2015), One Direction (2015), Guns ‘N Roses (2017), U2 (2017)

 

FACILITY CONTACT:
Andy Major
(716) 312-8624
Andy.Major@bills.nfl.net