ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Law enforcement officials are preparing for tens of thousands of Bills fans to flood into Orchard Park on Sunday for the first game at Highmark Stadium this season.

But as the construction of the new Bills Stadium continues across the street, it may put a roadblock into some fans’ game day traditions, adding some confusion to the congestion.

“The message is, some people are going to have to change their routines,” said Chief Tim Carney with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. “I know that there have been people going out there for 30 years and park in the same spot, and eat the same meal, and walk in through the same gate, and people are just going to have to realize that that’s going to have to change over the next few years.”

Carney said that the majority of the parking lot, where the new stadium is currently being built across the street, was majority occupied by limos and buses. This year, they’re adding a new lot by Prohibition, that will designated to hold 40 limos and 40 buses with parking passes.

This year, there will also be additional parking in Lot 3, which used to be only for employees, on the west side of ECC’s campus.

Carney believes with the addition of these lots, along with the amount of private lots, the loss of parking due to the construction will be minimal.

“We just know that we’ve been hearing a lot about people discussing what they believe to be the perceived loss of parking, which is not necessarily true this season, but knowing where you’re going to park is extremely important,” said Chief Patrick Fitzgerald of Orchard Park Police. “Prepare yourself. Know where you’re going to park, know how you’re going to get there, make sure you give yourself a little extra time to get there — we’re not talking hours but we’re saying leave a few minutes early to make sure you can get to your destination in time.”

These local emergency service agencies and the Bills have been meeting weekly to come up with this game plan, and Carney says they will continue to do so. They encourage Bills fans to come up with their routine and game plan for attending the game as well.

“Be patient, everyone’s getting to the same spot, and we know that we have a lot of traffic that’s going to be building up before the game, and we know we’re going to have a lot of traffic after the game,” said Fitzgerald. “Know that there’s going to be congestion. Represent our Western New York community well, represent Bills fans well.”

For more information on the parking changes, visit the Buffalo Bills website about stadium parking here. On this page, they note that the Colton RV Camper lot is closed, and that Campers/RVs will be unable to park in the Buffalo Bills-controlled lots.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.