With venues across the nation opening back up for fans, it’s been a time of celebration. For football fans, and fans of the Buffalo Bills in particular, that means tailgating. I won’t hold it against you if you forgot, but in 2019 the Buffalo Bills made some big changes to tailgating policies including an official experience called “Tailgate Village.” The pandemic made sure this didn’t return in 2020, but guess what’s back for this season?
That’s right! Tailgate Village makes its (triumphant?) return to Orchard Park, NY. With tailgating no longer permitted in the bus lot, fans getting to the game that way will need to find another place to party before kickoff. That’s where Tailgate Village comes in. Feel free to check it out in full at the link above, but if you’re wondering the gist, have I ever got the gist covered for you.
Tailgate Village is billed as “a comfortable and friendly atmosphere that encourages human interaction” and is adjacent to the bus lot in an attempt to curb shenanigans there and elsewhere. Groups of fans can rent space that includes a tent and some barebones furniture. Catering is available for a fee or you’re free to bring your own victuals. Other accommodations such as extra furniture, television, and more are only a request (and another fee) away.
Now it might seem like I’m down on the idea (and fees) but overall this can make a lot of sense for larger groups arriving by bus or depending on what experience you’re looking for on game day. Tailgate Village staff will do set up for most of the experience as well as tear down and clean up. It also sounds like a fantastic middle ground between “not tailgating” and the “Wild West” atmosphere many of the hot spots lean toward. You’ll need a reservation/wristband to enter so make sure you read the FAQs if you think this might be right for you.
But wait! There’s more. New this year, the Bills are introducing The Tailgate Club. Located next to the Village, the Club experience is open to all fans “that aren’t looking for their own private space.” The Club will have a DJ and games. Entry costs $30. This includes a bottle of water. If you’re over 21, you can get a beer instead of water for $40. Concessions and a cash bar will be available as well.