BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bills started practices on Monday at One Bills Drive, outside of a currently-unnamed stadium.
After New Era and the Buffalo Bills ended their naming rights agreement earlier this summer, the stadium formerly known as "New Era Field" has not been given a new name. On the team's website, it is known simply as "The Stadium."
Bills fans are now presenting team owners Kim and Terry Pegula with a possible solution-- naming the stadium after beloved Hall of Fame Head Coach Marv Levy.
A petition started by Bills fan Rich Luchette has amassed close to 3,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon. It calls for the Bills home field to be renamed "Marv Levy Stadium."
Levy, who turned 95 this month, coached the Bills to four straight AFC Championships in the early 90s, with teams including future Hall of Famers Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly and Andre Reed. Before his Hall of Fame career in the NFL, Levy served in World War II in the Army Air Forces.
Luchette's petition to the Pegulas reads:
As the Buffalo Bills move on from their stadium naming rights agreement with New Era Corp., there is no doubt that you already have many corporate special interests offering millions of dollars for this opportunity to promote their brands.
As lifelong Bills fans, however, we are writing to ask that you instead rename the stadium in honor of Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy, the man who led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive AFC Championships in the early 1990s.
At 95 years of age, Marv Levy is a living legend. Throughout the six decades he spent working in professional and college football, Marv Levy’s decency, resilience, and intellectual curiosity were unparalleled. Indeed, they still are today. Renaming the stadium in his honor would be a fitting tribute to this great man and a worthy capstone on his football career.
We thank you for your attention to this matter and your continued stewardship of this proud NFL franchise.
Prior to the Bills stadium's run as New Era Field, the stadium was known as Ralph Wilson Stadium from 1998 to 2015, in honor of late Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson. It was called Rich Stadium from 1973 to 1997.