New Bills Stadium will have a familiar official name to it when the gates open in 2026.
During Monday's Groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the New Bills Stadium, Buffalo Bills Owner/CEO Terry Pegula announced that the franchise has finalized a new naming rights deal with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York to continue their partnership at the new stadium.
For now, the new stadium will be referred to as 'New Highmark Stadium' until the completion of the construction in 2026 before switching over to 'Highmark Stadium' — the same name of the current Bills home across the road.
The deal was announced in front of a few hundred invited guests at the Groundbreaking ceremony, including Owner/CEO Terry Pegula, EVP/Chief Operating Officer Ron Raccuia, General Manager Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott representing the Bills, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell as well as New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and other leaders from New York State and Erie County.
For the Bills organization, it was important to keep the continuity of the stadium name as the franchise moves venues for the first time since the 1973 season. New Highmark Stadium will continue to represent the history and meaning behind the Buffalo Bills.
"We felt like that was important to the authenticity of the franchise in the community," said Bills EVP/COO Ron Raccuia. "Organizations & teams lose some of that value of the importance of a naming right partner when it changes a lot. So it was really important for us to have that continuity."
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is the region's largest and longest-standing health plan. The organizations share 150 years of combined history in Western New York and a strong commitment to the community.
"Like the Bills, we have deep roots in Western New York, and share a vision that the "New Highmark Stadium" will serve as a center of engagement and improvement for our entire region. Highmark is excited to enter a new phase of our long-standing partnership with the Buffalo Bills and Pegula Sports and Entertainment, while reinforcing our commitment to the community," said Dr. Michael Edbauer, President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York.
Since the naming rights agreement began in March of 2021, the current Highmark Stadium has hosted over 850+ events outside of game days. Together, Highmark and the Buffalo Bills have welcomed thousands of Western New Yorkers to the stadium for free fitness, mental health and CPR training events.
On game days, the organizations have partnered to recognize and support over 30 community partners. Since 2021, the Bills and Highmark have distributed more than 380 tickets and $37,500 to non-profit and health care organizations, through the Highmark Community Hero program.
The joint efforts to support Western New York have also come at times when it's been needed most. The organizations donated over $700k in direct financial relief, thousands of dollars in essential items, and hundreds of volunteer hours in the aftermath of the May 14th shooting and December Blizzard.
Buffalo's new state-of-the-art canopy covered stadium will be the largest project ever built in Western New York, holding approximately 62,000 people.
The Bills Mafia's influence on the game is undeniable — and we want that passion to swell throughout the stadium. These visuals reflect early conceptual thinking on how the Bills brand and fan culture may be represented.
Starting today, fans can sign up for the opportunity to purchase New Highmark Stadium season tickets at billsstadiumexperience.com. By placing a deposit, fans can join the priority list, which will allow them to visit the Stadium Experience and purchase seats when they become available, following current Bills Season Ticket Members.
Existing Bills Season Ticket Members do not need to complete the additional deposit as their priority place on the list to purchase seats in the New Bills Stadium is already established. A dedicated stadium experience representative will reach out to current Bills Season Ticket Members when it is their time to purchase their seats.
The Bills collaborated with global premium experiences company Legends to secure the New Bills Stadium naming rights agreement with Highmark. Legends leads project development, global partnerships, premium sales, ticket sales, retail and hospitality for the New Bills Stadium.
Raccuia shared that talks between the Bills and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York "picked up steam" during a meeting during the Super Bowl, and with the help of Legends, both sides were able to finalize the agreement on the new naming rights deal recently.
Despite being located in a smaller market, the Buffalo Bills have proved they are one of the most well-known and watched brands in all of the NFL. The 2023 Bills schedule features the NFL maximum six primetime games, four additional national games with 4:25 kickoffs and hosting a game on the global stage in London.
The Bills had record national viewership during the 2022-23 season, drawing 125 million combined TV viewers for six primetime games.
"We are a national team who just happens to be in a smaller market," Raccuia said.
As the groundbreaking ceremony took place on Monday, the announcement of the naming right deal marked another chapter toward opening the new home of the Buffalo Bills.
"It's a great partnership that we've shared with Highmark already," Raccuia said. "The future is really bright and what we can do together not just here at the stadium but throughout the entire community."
ABOUT HIGHMARK BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF WESTERN NEW YORK
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs more than 1,400 people and serves as a key economic driver in the region. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.
ABOUT BUFFALO BILLS
Founded in 1959, the Buffalo Bills are one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills have won two American Football League (AFL) Championships (1964 - 1965) and won an NFL record four straight AFC Championships (1990 - 1993) that included four trips to the Super Bowl. Owned by Terry and Kim Pegula, the Bills are proud to be a member of the Western New York community for more than 55 years. For more information regarding the Bills visit buffalobills.com, call (716) 648-1800, become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/buffalobills,or follow the Bills on Twitter at twitter.com/buffalobills.