Orchard Park panic: Bills and businesses brace for rush of football fans

ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) – The Bills say there won’t be a major parking problem here tomorrow and they don’t expect one this season either. The organization states that the stadium parking lots have been moved compared to previous seasons, which could mean your tailgate moves to a new location.

Saturday marks the Bills’ first preseason game of the year and the first major test of the new parking system. With construction of the new stadium underway, there will be some changes this year including the removal of the RV site. The bus and limousine parking lot will be relocated adjacent to Lot 7 on Southwestern Boulevard. and game day employee parking will be relocated to Erie Community College.

“Our plan is to prepare as if we’re going to have 70,000 fans here this Saturday and at every game of the season,” said Andy Major, the Bills’ vice president of Operations & Guest Experience. “At every game we will take a look at operations, traffic flow and any accidents that may have caused us problems. We are not afraid to make changes on the fly if necessary.”

The bills say there will be the same number of parking spaces as in previous seasons. Lot 3 will remain closed for Saturday’s preseason game, but all other Bills lots will be open from 9 a.m. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says road closures will be the same as last season. The preseason game will be a test run, but there could be congestion due to the game and the Erie County Fair.

“Tomorrow will probably be a little more complicated, probably because of the fair traffic, but we’ll make it and we’re looking forward to it,” said Undersheriff Bill Cooley.

“In the past we’ve had a lot more difficulties and also the fairgrounds with traffic and staff potentially sharing both events so the 1 o’clock game will actually help us,” Major said.

Some stores near the stadium say they sell season park passes quickly. This also applies to mobile homes. At Danny’s South, it’s first come, first served, but the phone keeps ringing.

“In the last month so far I’ve received probably a thousand calls. That’s crazy. People are worried about where they’re going to go and I think the traffic will be heavy and I think that’s what people are worried about. I have a feeling the traffic will be insane this year,” said Mark Ebeling, owner of Danny’s South.

If you’re worried, the best advice is to get to the stadium early to find the best spot for your tailgate.

“Take a little more time and spend some time figuring out the traffic patterns that we’re talking about,” Cooley said.

The Bills expect this area of ​​Orchard Park to be busy on Saturday afternoon. If you’re not visiting the game, you can check it out. News 4. Buffalo Kickoff Live begins at 12:30 p.m. with kick-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Tara Lynch, originally from Buffalo, joined the News 4 team in 2022 as a reporter. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, NY, a News 4 sister station. You can follow Tara on Facebook And Twitter and find more of her work here.

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing tomvazquez@ustimetoday.com.

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