Bills Stadium (originally Rich Stadium, then Ralph Wilson Stadium from 1998 to 2015, and New Era Field from 2016 to 2020) is a stadium in Orchard Park, New York, the southern portion of the Buffalo metropolitan area. The stadium opened in 1973 and is the home of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. The first NFL playoff game at the stadium came in the 1988 season, a 17–10 Bills victory over the Houston Oilers on January 1, 1989. The Bills won every ensuing playoff game at the stadium until they were defeated in on December 28, 1996 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. From New Era Field's opening until the end of the 2019 NFL season, the Bills have defeated each of the 31 other teams there at least once and are unbeaten there against the following teams: Arizona Cardinals (4-0), Green Bay Packers (6-0), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0).
The stadium is open-air, with a capacity of 71,870. It has never had a natural grass surface; AstroTurf was installed in the stadium upon its opening in 1973. The first renovation occurred in 1984 when the stadium's capacity was increased to 80,290 with the addition of 16 executive suites. Eight years later in 1992, 24 more executive suites were added. In 1994, major renovations were made to the stadium including the addition of the Red Zone and Goal Line clubs that are enclosed in glass and have 500 seats. These renovations also added 14 executive suites. A massive $9.1 million (inflation adjusted) 41.5 by 31.5 feet (12.6 by 9.6 m) Sony JumboTron video scoreboard was a major update in 1994 and was the largest in the U.S. at the time. In 1998, $57 million were spent to refit the stadium with larger seats and more luxury and club seating as a part of the Bills lease renewal with Erie County. This caused the seating capacity to be reduced to just under 74,000.
In the 2003 offseason, the original style turf was replaced with a newer AstroTurf product, AstroTurf GameDay Grass (also known as AstroPlay). The lease agreement also stipulated Erie County would continue to upgrade the stadium; in the summer of 2007, a new HD Mitsubishi LED board measuring 88.8 by 32.5 feet (27.1 by 9.9 m) was installed and replaced the 13-year-old Sony Jumbotron. Over 1,000 feet (300 m) of Mitsubishi Diamond Vision LED Ribbon Boards were also installed in the interior during that renovation. The total cost for the 2007 project was $5.2 million, In 2011, the Bills changed their turf to a new product, A-Turf Titan, produced by a Western New York company. As of the 2011 season, Buffalo is the only NFL stadium using the A-Turf Titan product.
On December 21, 2012, the lease negotiations between the Bills, Erie County, and the state of New York ended with the Bills signing a ten-year lease to stay in Buffalo until 2023. The agreement included $130 million in improvements to New Era Field. Renovations included new larger entrance gates, larger HD sponsor boards added to each side of the video scoreboard, two new 33.6 by 59.84 feet (10.24 by 18.24 m) HD video boards, larger LED sponsor board added on the tunnel end of the stadium, expanded concessions, new team store, and redesign of areas and lots just outside the entrance gates. In addition, a life-sized statue of team founder Ralph Wilson was posthumously added to a new area outside the team store called Founder's Plaza in 2015.
Buffalo, by virtue of its position downwind of Lake Erie, is one of the nation's windiest cities, and as a result, New Era Field often is a difficult stadium for kickers, with swirling winds that change direction rapidly. This is exacerbated by the stadium's design. The field is 50 feet (15 m) below ground level, while the top of the upper deck stands only 60 feet (18 m) above ground. The open end lies parallel to the direction of the prevailing winds, so when the winds come in, they immediately drop down into the bowl, causing the stadium's signature wind patterns.
A color model of the stadium can be requested via email to SWIFTLANDREPLICAS@outlook.com, currently the cost is $30 (2020) plus shipping for a 152mm (6 inch) model, other sizes can be requested and will be priced accordingly.