Fans traveling to Buffalo Bills games via limo or bus will no longer be allowed to tailgate near their vehicles. Instead, tailgaters will be ushered into a new area called “Tailgate Village.”
Fans used to be able to begin their tailgating experience right beside their vehicles in the bus and limo parking lot. However, due to a recently announced policy change by the team, fans will have to walk from their vehicles to the newly designated area, WGRZ reported.
The team is calling it a “safety” measure and has worked with the Erie County Sheriff on the plan.
“We want to provide a safe and fun experience in the Bus and Limo Lot,” Bills Vice President of Operations and Guest Experience, Andy Major, said on the team website. “That’s the overarching goal. We’re working closely with Tailgate Guys, which is a Bills partner, who have the expertise in fan tailgating and group tailgating.”
Major also alluded to the rowdy nature of some Bills fans, when explaining the rationale behind the move.
“There are a few who make a big stink out there — a few knuckleheads who wreck it,” Major explained. In recent years, videos showing Bills fans crashing through tables and occasionally even catching fire, have been shared thousands of times on Twitter. That type of behavior is a major reason why the team is making the move.
Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard also released a statement of support for the plan.
“My office works closely with the Buffalo Bills’ organization and other game day partners to ensure a safe and exciting environment, and I support the new tailgating experience within the bus and limo lot,” Sheriff Howard said. “We will continue to work with the Bills throughout the summer and the season to proactively address items that can make Sundays at New Era Field fun and safe.”
Bills fans will also be required to purchase tickets for the “Tailgate Village” through Tailgate Guys. The tickets are package deals for three groupings with a $300 fee for groups up to 20 fans, number two costs $600 for groups between 21 and 40, and the third is priced at $900 for groups between 41 and up to 60.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.