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A look back at home turf: From Rich Stadium to the Ralph

Posted at 12:04 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 21:02:13-04

From the Greatest Comeback In NFL History to Bills fans tearing down the goal posts back in 1980 after beating the Dolphins for the first time in a decade. There's been a lot of history written on that field. 

It was called Rich Stadium back in the day. The Bills were one of the first NFL teams to sell the naming rights of a stadium. Rich Products signed a 25 year deal, for $1.5 million a year. The stadium itself cost a total of $22 million. 

The first official home game out at Rich Stadium was a win against Jets, played on September 30th. Joe Ferguson was our quarterback. O.J. Simpson stood in the backfield. We went 5-2 at home in 1973. The Bills finished the season with a 9-5 record. 

The stadium might have opened back in the early 70s, but Bills fans would have to wait until 1988 to watch their first playoff game on home turf. For the record, it was a Bills victory, 17-10 over the Houston Oilers.

A total of 12 playoff games have been played at Rich Stadium. Bills only lost one of those stories. We've watched three victorious Conference Championship games take place out at Rich Stadium. 

The deal was up in 1998. The Bills then named their stadium after their owner, Ralph Wilson Jr. There has never been a playoff game played out at the Ralph. And it's not as if the Bills haven't had their chances during the regular season to win a game when it counts. In 2005, last game of the regular season, all they had to do was beat the Pittsburgh Steelers backups, and they're in. They lost 29-24 at home.

The only owner the Bills ever knew passed away in March of 2014. The team kept the name of its long time owner owner until this past week, when the team announced a new deal with New Era.

The Bills hopefully have their franchise quarterback, and a solidified defense. Hats off to a New Era.