The Buffalo Bills will host the Tennessee Titans for Monday Night Football at Highmark Stadium this week in a much-anticipated home opener for last year’s AFC East champions. With a weekday game, traffic safety can become a concern so Orchard Park Central School District announced that students will be given a “Buffalo Bills Monday Half-Day” on September 19.
Despite a 7:15 PM Eastern scheduled kickoff, the school district was concerned about game-day traffic around Highmark Stadium. Officials with the district said that with tailgating historically starting hours before the game, the protentional for overlapping traffic was the motivation behind the adjusted school schedule.
Two schools in particular are in areas that receive a high amount of traffic on game days. Orchard Park’s Windom Elementary School is only a half mile from Highmark Stadium while Orchard Park Middle School is located in the village.
The decision to alter the school schedule was actually made prior to the start of the season. When the NFL season schedule was released, the Orchard Park Central School District moved a Superintendent’s Conference Day that was already scheduled for September to the day of the Bills’ home opener to accommodate for releasing students early.
All Pre-K students within the district will be released at 11:00 AM ET while elementary students will be dismissed at 11:30 AM ET and high school students across the district will be dismissed at 12:45 PM ET next Monday. School officials said that the half day will allow all buses to run before the heaviest of the game-day traffic is expected to begin, and will aid in safely getting students home.
The Frontier School District didn’t have the same plan heading into the year, but announced on Tuesday, September 13th, that they will also dismiss early on Monday. That district is directly west of Orchard Park and includes the major roads leading to the west side of the stadium.