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New Era asks to be released from stadium naming rights contract

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The Buffalo-based New Era Cap Company is asking the Buffalo Bills to end the Orchard Park stadium naming rights contract.

"The Buffalo Bills and New Era Cap Company jointly announce that New Era has asked to be released from their naming rights and sponsorship deals with the Bills," a statement said. "The Bills and New Era are currently negotiating the details of this separation and the Bills are beginning the process of pursuing a new naming rights partner for the stadium."

No reason was provided for the move, though it comes a little over a week after New Era Cap Company laid off 117 employees at its Buffalo-based headquarters. The layoffs drew criticism from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who questioned the decision after New Era accepted between $5 and $10 million in a Paycheck Protection Program loan to retain nearly 500 jobs.

The Buffalo News cites a source as saying Pegula Sports and Entertainment has been working with New Era for "well over a year" to restructure the deal to support their business.

Attendance for this coming season's Bills home games will be minimal or none, and that will mean decreased revenue for all entities involved.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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