Local leaders to decide whether to allow tailgating on private lots

News

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills fans looking to tailgate this season may have to do so from the comfort of their own home.

Under NYS guidelines, tailgating will be prohibited in any Bills-owned or commercial lots, but Town of Orchard Park Board Members are also battling with the question of allowing people to do it on private property amid this pandemic.

“The Governor said no tailgating allowed, so we’re following those orders,” said Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem. “We just want to have it toned down this year, if we can, ask people not to come and tailgate. Most of the parking lot owners who’ve called me have said they haven’t had many calls, much interest, and they’re fine.”

Because of COVID-19, gatherings are only allowed with up to 50 people in a place at a time, which is why local leaders are unsure what they can do to stop people from getting together to tailgate on private property, even if they feel it’s unsafe.

“My view has not changed with regards to ‘should there be tailgating’ – there should not be mass tailgating,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said during a briefing Wednesday. “If there’s no tailgating, so be it. Have fun at your house – order some pizza, buy some beer. Do it at your house because I’d rather do that and watch the Bills on the field than the alternative, which is no football.”

The Orchard Park Town Board raised the issue at their meeting Wednesday night. While they have yet to come to any conclusion on the issue, members are calling on the public for their opinion.

Their next meeting will be held on Aug. 19, and board members say they plan to come to a formal decision on this issue at that date.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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