Fans, in reduced numbers, given OK to attend Bills game on Saturday

Staff Reports Posted 11 January 2021 at 6:56 pm

Photo courtesy of the Kiebala family: Jack and Cynthia Kiebala of Medina are Buffalo Bills season ticket holders the past 48 years. They were happy to be back in the stands on Saturday with son Andrew and grandson Toby for the Bills 27-24 win over the Colts.

Buffalo Bills fans have been given the OK from the state to attend Saturday’s playoff game versus the Baltimore Ravens.

The crowd size will be limited to about 6,700 fans, the same number as Saturday when the Bills defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 in the Bills first playoff victory in about 25 years.

The Bills didn’t have any fans in the stands for its first eight games of the regular season. The state worked with the team on a pilot for Saturday, and Governor Andrew Cuomo today said the pilot plan was successful.

Fans for this Saturday’s game will be allowed to attend the game only after first obtaining a negative Covid-19 test result and adhering to all public health precautions. Contact tracing will also be conducted after the game and tailgating remains prohibited. This plan was developed cooperatively between the Bills, the New York State Department of Health and BioReference Laboratories.

“It was a great joy to see the Buffalo Bills win their first home playoff game in more than two decades in front of thousands of New York fans on Saturday, and we’re looking forward to extending that winning streak this week,” Cuomo said. “New York’s first-in-the-nation pilot plan to reopen Bills Stadium to fans went smoothly. The success of our pilot plan depends on individual behavior as well as collective measures, and I urge Bills fans to stay safe and follow the rules as we look to another exciting game. Go Bills!”

The continued success of this plan will help inform the re-opening of entertainment venues across New York, Cuomo said.

Once inside the stadium, fans are required to wear a mask at all times and adhere to strict social distancing protocols. Fans who refuse to comply with these protocols will be removed from the stadium. Ushers will also be present throughout the stadium to ensure all fans are in compliance with the public health protocols and rules of conduct.

Buffalo Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula said, “We felt the energy from our fans last Saturday at the stadium and we know our coaches and players appreciated the support on the field. We have worked with the Governor, his team and BioReference to ensure we will host fans again on Saturday night. They have all been great partners in this process. We want to thank our fans for following the safety guidelines, and remind the fans coming Saturday to please wear your mask, socially distance and follow the rules. Be safe. Be smart. Be loud!”