So, you’ve never attended a Buffalo Bills home game. You want to get the most out of the experience. Tailgating, activities, tips, and tricks. Well Buffalo Rumblings has you covered. Here’s a beginner’s guide to Bills games, complete with a couple graphics courtesy of Google Maps.
First you gotta get there! Let’s get you parked. Click through here for the team’s official information on parking, which includes pricing and a map. Here’s our version.
The team lots are pretty easily noted as the large expanses of asphalt. The green areas are residential but you’ll find lots of people willing to charge you to park on their yard. Which is better? It depends on the experience you want (see tailgating below). You can save a few bucks parking in a yard but, unless you don’t mind walking, don’t expect to save a ton of cash. If you’re parking in a team lot, buy your pass ahead of time.
Our map doesn’t have all the parking circled and it’s color coded to help you with traffic decisions. If you’re coming from the North (and leaving that way presumably, you’ll be a lot happier parking in the red zones. Heading West or South? You may wanna stick to the yellow. The road between the yellow and red section is closed on game days. If you’re East, go with the blue zone.
Don’t fret too much if you’re in the “wrong” zone. It’s a pretty suburban location and having to navigate around a “block” to circumvent a blocked road is fairly easy. Just set your GPS, take a deep breath, and hit the road. You may also find it easier to park in certain lots based on where your seats are located. Traffic might be secondary to that concern based on your needs.
Bills fans are kiiiiiinda known for tailgating so here’s the rundown, complete with another map.
The three “main” spots are numbered on the map, but tailgating is allowed in team lots and most private lots/yards. Team lots open up FOUR HOURS before kickoff, which can limit the experience if you want an all-day thing. Private lots/yards vary when it comes to opening, but it’s pretty difficult to be there too early. Tailgating can vary as well, but most people won’t mind a small setup next to your vehicle.
- Hammer’s Lot—If you’ve seen media coverage of tailgating it’s a safe bet it’s this area. Pinto Ron and the pre-game celebrations he’s known for all happen here. You don’t necessarily need to park here to enjoy the festivities, but you will wanna research ahead of time. If you’re intrigued, do a search on the interwebs to see all the official/unofficial rules and what to expect.
- Mud Lot—Another large private lot, there’s usually a ton of activity here. You might be asked to pay to get in, even if you’re coming in on foot. If you plan on parking here, go early.
- Tailgate Village—You can get a more thorough rundown here on the team’s official tailgating experience. If you’re taking a bus in with a group this can be a good option where cleanup isn’t necessary. Catering and other amenities are available for a fee. Reservations are required.
- Everywhere else—As noted, tailgating is permitted most places. You can set up at your vehicle or wander around and mingle with other fans. If you choose the latter option, it’s often advised to walk around with something to share (drinks, snacks, etc.).
Other things to do
There’s more than tailgating if you want the full experience (or prefer to avoid the tailgating crowd).
- ADPRO Sports Training House (Aka the “Field House”)—This is a great stop for fans and is free to get in. The entry way has a bit of Bills history to take in. Once inside you’re walking on the turf the team practices on. Vendors and activities are usually set up inside. These can range from trinket giveaways from local radio stations, to alumni signings, games, and more. A word of caution though; some of the things you buy or win might not be allowed in the stadium. Make sure you have time to run back to your vehicle with that mini-helmet and know the NFL policy on what’s allowed in (see below).
- Tailgate Club—New this year, the Bills have added a club-like experience near Tailgate Village. No reservation required, but you will need to pay to get in. Food, drink, and live music can be found here.
- The Bills Store—The best place for a souvenir. Hard-to-find items, exclusives, and more Bills logos than you can imagine.
- The Cemetery—Totally not a joke. There’s a graveyard in that little stand of trees where we’ve marked the number four. You can’t get in, but you can walk up to the fence and pay your respects.
There’s often food and activities around the stadium as well. Typically concentrated near the Bills store on Abbott Road, you might see something interesting on your way in.
Tips and tricks
- All tickets are mobile. It’s strongly advised to load the ticket well before you get to the gate.
- Everything is cashless this year inside the stadium. But you’ll likely need cash for parking in private lots. Plan ahead based on the experience you’re looking for.
- Have a designated driver? Awesome! That person should find a guest service booth or the “Good Sports Cart” inside either gate 2 or 7. They can sign up for the Good Sport program and receive a coupon good for one free non-alcoholic beverage and a chance to win a prize pack.
- Speaking of guest services, you can ask for a “First Game” certificate to commemorate the moment.
- You CAN bring a bag into the stadium but it needs to be clear and meet other criteria. If you need a bag they can be purchased in the Bills store or ADPRO. Review the list of prohibited items here. You’ll notice food is not on that list. Single-serve items in packages are allowed in and this is a great way to make sure you have game snacks. This can be especially important if you’re bringing kids with you. No beverages though.
- Seat cushions, blankets, and extra clothing are allowed. All good ideas, especially for colder games. If you’re attending a winter game, gloves, hats, and hand warmers (chemical, not electric) are encouraged. Bring something to wipe off your seat or sit on. Hat and sunblock are recommended in the Summer/early Fall.
- Be prepared to lose your voice.
- If you hear the train horn, get even LOUDER!
- Make sure your high-five game is on point.
- “Shout” is better with 70,000 close friends.
- Enjoy yourself!
There are plenty more tips and tricks! Visit the team website to help prepare yourself, and check out the comments below where other Rumblers are sure to share their cheat codes.