ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – With the Buffalo Bills set to kick off an unprecedented season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some fans are still wondering whether they’ll be able to see any games in person. There are currently two options out there: Week 2 against the Dolphins and Week 15 against the Broncos.
Both, of course, are away games.
The Dolphins and Broncos have both announced they will be letting a limited number of fans into their stadium this season, although the Broncos home opener next Monday will be played with no fans.
As for the Miami game next weekend, Nick Giammusso of VIP Tix, a third party ticketing service, says there are about 300 tickets available floating around right now. The Dolphins will allow 13,000 fans in the stadium in total. Giammusso has already brokered a few seats for Bills fans living in South Florida, however he doesn’t expect to see much red, white, and blue for the game, which usually draws a respectable contingent of Buffalo fans.
“I honestly don’t expect to see too many the way they’ve restricted the tickets and the amount of capacity that’s going to be in the stadium,” Giammusso said.
Fans who do travel to that game from Buffalo will have to quarantine for two weeks when they return to New York State, since Florida is on the Empire State’s travel advisory.
The toughest loss this season for Giammusso is the Week 4 Bills game in Las Vegas against the recently relocated Raiders. That team has already announced there won’t be any fans attending their home games during the 2020 season.
“It would probably have been the biggest road game ever as far as demand goes for the Buffalo Bills, for sure,” Giammusso said.
The Bills have already announced there will be no fans in Bills Stadium for the team’s first two home games this year: Week 1 against the Jets and Week 3 against the Rams.
“It won’t be the same experience, but we’re Western New Yorkers. We know how to party,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a Hamburg native. “We’ll have a great time celebrating the Buffalo Bills this weekend.”
New York State guidance for professional sporting events currently requires they be played without fans in the stands. It’s unclear whether the state would seriously consider lifting that restriction by the time the NFL season ends.
“We’re just listening to the experts,” Hochul said. “We have not been through a pandemic before. We have to listen to the medical experts.”
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.