Gov. Cuomo says Bills fans in stadium depends on WNY COVID-19 rates

Local News

In this April 24, 2020 photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo addresses the media while holding an n95 mask during his daily press briefing on COVID-19, Coronavirus, at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y. The mask was sent to the governor by a retired farmer from Kansas whose wife only has one lung. He asked that the governor give it to a doctor or a nurse. At left is Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of New York State Department of Health. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

(WIVB)– The Buffalo Bills are AFC East champions and if you saw the scene at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport last night, you would know fans could not be more excited.

The big win has many fans wondering if they’ll be allowed in Bills Stadium for a playoff game.

Buffalo Bills fans welcome home the team after clinching the AFC East title

During a December 20 press conference, Governor Cuomo was asked how he felt about fans crowding the airport and if Bills Mafia would be allowed in the stadium.

In regard to the crowds the airport saw last night, the governor said “large gatherings should concern everyone, you know if you’re wearing masks and there’s some social distancing it’s better, but large gatherings, of course, are a concern.”

He followed up by saying how he wants to attend a Bills’ game as much as the next person.

When asked if fans would be allowed back inside the Orchard Park stadium, he said the decision will be up to the New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker.

The factors informing Dr. Zucker’s decision hinge on how Western New York is faring with “the infection rate, the hospitalization rate, etc.,” said the governor.

The governor said the Bills organization has submitted a re-opening plan to the Department of Health. Cuomo said he believes the department has not yet “opined” on the plan.

However, the governor did say the Department of Health is looking at alternatives, considering ideas from other stadiums around the country that are allowing fans in.

Dr. Zucker, who will be making the decision, said the stadium is not the big concern, but tailgating is the issue.

“The big issue here is the tailgate party, prior to the game. And that’s more of a challenge than even trying to get fans into a stadium appropriately. We have looked at other stadiums that are similar size and capacity.”

Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner, New York State Department of Health

The governor told reporters, the Buffalo Bills have stood the test of time and are providing good news during a year filled with bad news.

Cuomo also commented on the Bills’ performance saying:

“That was a great game yesterday, by the way. That was just unbelievable. I mean really incredible you almost sensed the energy and the optimism and the confidence in the way they played yesterday. Josh Allen was just unbelievable.”

Andrew Cuomo, Governor, New York State

Governor Cuomo said the Finger Lakes region is the big concern now.

You can listen to governor’s phone call by clicking here.

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