Poloncarz: I will not call Bills' stadium 'New Era Field'

The Erie County Executive was furious over the company's layoff announcement

WGR 550
July 09, 2020 - 11:49 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN - Mike Baggerman) - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz does not plan to call the Buffalo Bills' football stadium "New Era Field" after the company's decision on Wednesday to layoff nearly one-third of its Buffalo workforce.

"Their name should no longer be on the stadium if they're going to continue to layoff our employees and say 'sorry.'," Poloncarz said. "I'd rather see a stadium called Veterans Stadium than New Era. I won't even use that name. I still call it Ralph Wilson Stadium. I'm a little disappointed in the way New Era has treated our community. That company would not exist without the hard work of the people of this community."

Poloncarz said he has not talked about the layoffs with company CEO Chris Koch. He previously shared his frustration over New Era's decision to halt operations at its Derby plant last year, which resulted in a loss of jobs for approximately 200 people.

Buffalo Business First initially reported that the company would permanently let go 117 people at its Buffalo headquarters. The news comes after the company received millions of dollars in payroll protection loans.

"While we’re seeing some bright spots, it is now evident that it will take time for business to recover to prior levels," read a New Era statement to News Radio 930 WBEN. "All of this means that we have had to resize our workforce to better align our operations with the new market reality."

Erie County and the Bills are in the midst of negotiations for an extended stadium lease. Poloncarz acknowledged that his comments may have upset those within the organization.

"Sorry Bills, I know you're probably not happy with me right now," he said. "That name should not be on the stadium."

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