Barstool Sports Park? It’s catchier than Bills Stadium, though that might depend on your view of the potential sponsor.

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills announced that their home stadium will be temporarily named “Bills Stadium.” It’s the stadium-naming equivalent of a generic grocery item, like “Toasted Oats” instead of Cheerios or “Pastry Treats” for Pop-Tarts.

But the Bills were in a bit of a bind after New Era pulled out of its naming rights and sponsorship deal with Buffalo’s football stadium. The cap and apparel company asked to be released four years into its seven-year agreement due to financial difficulties exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Era was paying a reported $4 million per year for its name to be on the stadium. That doesn’t appear to be an outlandish fee for stadium naming rights. (Gillette, for example, pays $8 million a year for stadium naming rights with the New England Patriots. SoFi will reportedly pay $30 million annually for naming rights to the new Los Angeles stadium where the Rams and Chargers will play.)

With the low market price for Buffalo’s football stadium, Barstool Sports apparently sees an opportunity.

In case anyone thought Barstool founder Dave Portnoy was kidding, he doubled down when Buffalo’s WGRZ reported the company’s interest in the Bills Stadium naming rights.

When NBC Sports’ Nick Veronica (who used to cover the Bills for the Buffalo News) attempted to dispel the notion that the city of Buffalo would allow Barstool Sports to buy naming rights to the stadium, citing language in the team’s lease with Erie County stating that any name deemed to cause embarrassment to the community wouldn’t be approved.

For example, bidet manufacturer TUSHY announced an intended bid that could pay up to $12.5 million per year. But Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz said such a bid would be “dead on arrival.”

Portnoy is undeterred, however.

This isn’t the first time Barstool has attempted to win naming rights to a facility or event.

Last November, Sports Business Journal reported that the company tried to sponsor a college football bowl game in Mobile, Alabama. The discussions apparently got to a serious stage before ESPN and the NCAA pressured bowl officials to walk away from the deal. But Barstool has previously agreed to a media partnership with NASCAR and bought the Rough N Rowdy amateur boxing event.

Barstool Sports’ name on the stadium arguably wouldn’t draw the same derision as TUSHY. But the presumption is that the outlet’s reputation for provocative content and reported misogynist behavior would be too controversial. (Erie County officials certainly couldn’t argue there’s a conflict with another media outlet, as ESPN did with the Mobile bowl game.)

Additionally, the NFL surely wouldn’t want an association with Barstool, considering Portnoy’s previous disputes with commissioner Roger Goodell.

But maybe Portnoy and the Barstool faithful can make enough noise to convince county officials to put this to a vote. A certain segment of Bills Mafia would likely throw its support behind such a bid. Any chance at all that we’ll be revisiting this story in upcoming weeks and months?


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.