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No private tailgating lots will be open for Buffalo Bills games

Don’t plan on showing up to Orchard Park.

It was announced in July that no fans would be in attendance at Buffalo Bills home games for the foreseeable future, and the team announced this week that would be at least through the end of September. Now Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has taken that a step farther saying no private tailgating will be allowed on game days either.

Around Bills Stadium, there are the public lots owned and operated by the Buffalo Bills. We’ve known all along that if fans couldn’t get into the games that those lots would be closed. Beyond the team lots are dozens of private lots of varying sizes from multiple acres to small front yards. Normally, local homeowners and lot operators rent out space on their land before, during, and after events at the stadium. Those have now been forbid. The Town of Orchard Park where Bills Stadium is located has been wrestling with the idea for a couple months now, but the County has come in to make the decision.

You can have friends and family members over to watch the Bills game, says Poloncarz, but you can’t charge people to park their car and party. In addition, New York State rules have typically capped private gatherings at 50 people.

Poloncarz also said that if there is any hope of Bills fans at games this season beginning in October, Western New York will need to get their COVID-19 test rate down. While New York State as a whole has been testing under 1% positive in new test data, Western New York is at 1.4% and hasn’t yet fallen below the 1% threshold.

The Bills open the season at home on September 13th against the New York Jets. In Week 2, the Miami Dolphins have announced they will have roughly 18,000 fans in attendance at the game.