New rules for pro sports in the state will affect Bills home games

Orchard Park

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)– The Buffalo Bills are allowed to  “play ball” but not with fans inside or outside the stadium.

We set out to find out what this may mean for tailgaters who are not on Bills property.

“I bought this 35 years ago as an investment.”

Eric Matwijow owns what’s known as Hammer’s Lot right across from New Era Field where Bills fans pay to park about 10 days a year.

He’s still hoping to get some revenue, somehow this year, even though for now, the NFL games can begin with no fans inside and no fans congregating outside the venue.

“ I’m zoned business. Other people are zoned residential. Do they have to abide by the same rules? Is this gonna be two miles around the stadium enforcement thing going on, not just got the guys who have a permit?,” Matwijow said.

We asked the Sheriff’s Office about enforcing gatherings outside the stadium and how far if a perimeter that might mean.

They stated:

“No decisions have been made at this time. Due to the complexity of the details and numerous scenarios that face the parties involved. The Sheriff’s Office participated in multiple meetings with the NFL and the Bills throughout the year and we anticipate future meetings to determine a course of action for the 2020 season.”

Bills Mafia co-founder Del Reid says he’s at least glad to see the games on TV.

“It’s gonna be weird even watching the game. What are the sounds gonna be like, is there canned cheering? Will we be able to hear everything that goes on on the field? Will the FCC be okay with that? It’s gonna be different for sure,” Reid said.

At O’Neill’s Stadium Inn, they already lost revenue when they could only go take out but being right across the street from New Era Field, that accounts for about 25% of their annual business and if there are no fans all season, that 25% annual revenue would be lost.

“It’s a big impact. It’s huge. Between that and the three concerts that have already been cancelled, it’s big,” O’Neills co-owner Peggy Cerrone said.

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