The Buffalo Bills open the 2019 NFL season with two road games. Normally, this would be a downer for the team, as the grueling travel often associated with road games in the NFL could set Buffalo up for some early-season fatigue. However, thanks to a scheduling quirk combined with some good fortune, the Bills will face no such difficult travel.
Buffalo opens the 2019 season by playing two different opponents on the road in the same stadium. They face off against their divisional rival, the New York Jets, in the first week, and then they serve as the first opponent at home for the other tenant at The Meadowlands, as they stay in New Jersey to take on the New York Giants in Week 2. While this fortuitous travel situation is definitely beneficial to the team, it gives out-of-town Bills fans looking for a great travel experience their worst road games back-to-back to open the year.
Full disclosure: MetLife Stadium is a mere two-hour drive from my Hudson Valley home, so in terms of convenience, this is actually the best road travel for me personally. However, if you’re a Western New York Bills fan looking for a great road experience, these trips to East Rutherford are not that.
For starters, the nearly six-hour drive is punctuated by arriving at a stadium known for its horrendous traffic patterns. The snarling traffic is accentuated by East Rutherford sitting a mere nine miles outside of New York City, which is helpful in terms of touring the city, but not helpful in terms of driving to the stadium on game day. Tailgaiting is solid in the parking lots, though it definitely has a more “corporate” feel (it’s definitely not Orchard Park).
If driving isn’t for you, a one-way flight from Buffalo to Newark starts at $207. While that flight would take just over an hour, that’s a bit too rich for my blood. Factoring in hotel costs around the stadium at those New York City prices, you’re looking at a big chunk of change to stay close enough to home where driving is an option.
With all the other travel destinations on Buffalo’s schedule, doubling their annual pilgrimage to Bergen County probably won’t appeal to Bills fans looking for a getaway road game to watch their team. Nashville, Dallas, and Pittsburgh all offer better stadium amenities with different benefits to traveling to each game. (Nashville is awesome, Dallas is a holiday game in the most impressive stadium in North America, and Pittsburgh has a beautiful complex much closer to Buffalo.)
Have a different game that you see as Buffalo’s worst road city for travel? Let us know in the comments below.