When it comes to the Buffalo Bills, no fan base is more connected than Bills Mafia. That extends to the Orchard Park, NY school district where the Bills play home games. Buffalo’s stadium is a bit of an oddity in the current NFL landscape, given its location smack dab in the middle of a suburb, full of typical suburban things, including plenty of schools.
On Thursday, October 26, students in the Orchard Park School District will be dismissed from school a half-day early, ahead of the Bills primetime showdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Highmark Stadium.
Despite the appearance and what’s likely to be plenty of speculation on the matter, the truth is that this week’s early dismissal was already configured into district plans (as are any home Bills game that takes place on a week day), based around the district’s consideration of traffic and safety, especially as it relates to tailgating and those traveling to the game at a time when schools would normally break for the day.
As reported by Jeff Russo with WKBW in Buffalo:
“‘The half-days were scheduled in our original calendar for traffic and safety reasons,’” a district spokesperson said in an email to 7 News.
According to the district calendar, Middle School students will be dismissed starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. High School students will be dismissed starting at 12:45 p.m.
Orchard Park Central School also has a half-day scheduled for students ahead of the Bills Monday Night Football game set for November 13.
“‘It is not a district policy. It is simply proactive planning for the safety of our students and families’” added the district.
Additionally, students in the Frontier Central School District (also within Orchard Park) are scheduled for a half-day early release.