Buffalo Bills Owner/CEO Terry Pegula: Thank you everyone for showing up today. This is a memorable day for the Buffalo Bills, Bills fans, New Era, so we appreciate everyone coming out. I remember, October 12, 2014; I stood on this field. Our first game as owners of the Buffalo Bills and I was overcome by Ralph Wilson’s presence when I stood on the field. I thought there were two things that Ralph accomplished in his life that I could never do. First, he founded the Bills and secondly the tenure of his ownership. Just do the math, I can’t meet those numbers. Two great accomplishments. But today we look down the road. Today, we look to the future and today we turn a page in Bills history and I’ve been told by people who knew Ralph, I had never met Ralph, that Ralph will be proud to turn this page with us.

New Era is led by Chris Koch, fourth generation CEO, and I’m proud to announce our partnership moving down the road forward with New Era. And besides being an integral part of Western New York business, as you can see a four generation business is quite a rarity in this world, New Era is also a strong partner already of the National Football League. So without boring you anymore, I would like to welcome you for the first time to New Era Field. Thank you.

New Era President & CEO Chris Koch: I was going to try not to be emotional, but it’s hard not to be. Thank you Terry (Pegula) for those kind remarks. And I want to start off by saying thanks to Bruce Popko and Frank Cravotta and their teams at PSE (Pegula Sports and Entertainment) for that amazing video and all the visuals you’re going to see today. I know that our group at New Era, our attention to detail can be painful at times and I know we probably drove you crazy, but wow, I mean, you really delivered. Thank you very much for that.

I have to say this is a humbling and proud moment and probably one of the most exciting days of my forty-year career at New Era. I was born and bred a Buffalonian and a passionate Bills fan and this is truly a special moment for me, and my family and the community.

And I want to begin by saying thank you to Terry and Kim (Pegula), and Russ Brandon and the entire Bills organization for choosing New Era as their new stadium naming rights partner. Their support, energy and spirit throughout this endeavor has been incredible and I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity. Thank you, thank you.

I know this is going to be a great partnership and we’re going to make our hometown fans even more proud if that’s possible. Also, would like to thank County Executive Mark Poloncarz for his support of the Bills and New Era coming together on this. And I have to recognize my family who’s here today so, my mom Valerie, Aunt Judy, Uncle Jim, Aunts Barbra, Dorothy and Mary and all my extended family—it seems like a bit of a family reunion out here—so thank you all for coming out. And of course my children Neal, Falynn, Hunter, Annabelle and my wife who, Lindsey, you know, she’s an amazing mother, an awesome friend and an incredible business partner and I say it all the time, but she’s my rock. She makes me stronger and she makes me better and so, thank you for your support Lindsey. And last but not least, our colleagues at New Era who are present here today, back at our headquarters and around the world—thank you for your support. This is truly very special to me.

For me this partnership is personal on many levels. You know, New Era is not just a company to me, it’s a family business. And Buffalo is not just a city, it’s our home. It’s a place where my great grandfather started this business almost a hundred years ago. So, to have New Era associated with the Buffalo Bills, who are an incredibly well respected brand, reach history with the NFL and our community it is a significant honor and a privilege that I don’t take lightly.

Standing here today and seeing New Era Field as the name and all the brand new signage and everything around us is spectacular. And obviously a very emotional experience for me. This is an opportunity for people, not only for people to see the New Era brand on a local and national level, but hopefully to know what our brand stands for and how closely we value the Bills team, our local community and the continued investment we make in sports at all levels.

I’ve spent the last twenty years of my career building New Era into what it is today, you know, a brand that’s recognized globally and respected globally. And adding New Era Field to our brand portfolio makes a statement to world about this city, this team and what the game of football means to us.

Now, I am very cognizant that we have some big shoes to fill with our agreement to rename the stadium. Ralph Wilson has been a respected figure in the NFL and in our community for a long, long time. We all know he was responsible for bringing the Bills to Buffalo in 1959 and keeping them here for so many years and for that we are eternally grateful. I’m really looking forward to continuing the high standards and the legacy Mr. Wilson set and what’s been sustained by the Bills for so long.

We are entering into a new chapter, a new era, so to speak with the Pegula’s, the Bills and New Era Field and I am extremely confident this partnership will have a positive and widespread influence on our community and beloved city. This for me typifies what One Buffalo is all about. I am really looking forward to Thursday night, the home-opener against the Jets when New Era Field will be center stage and we will officially kickoff this new venue in front of the greatest and most passionate NFL fans in the NFL.

So, I thank you again and look forward to welcoming our team, our fans, visitors and opposing teams to New Era Field for many years to come. And as I said earlier, this is very personal for me and my family and we all know my father is looking down from the heavens above with a big smile on his face. And so to close, I just want to say, Dad this one’s for you.

Thank you and welcome to New Era Field. Now let’s make it official.

Filed under: Buffalo Bills

Tagged with: , , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.