BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fans cheered on the Bills from a wide range of places Thursday night, including outdoors at the Bills Block Party on West Chippewa Street and inside at Southern Tier Brewing Company. Bills Mafia also mixed with Sabres fans who headed to the Keybank Center to watch Buffalo take on the Colorado Avalanche.

“Buffalo is an eating and drinking town and they like to go out and support their team,” Jeff Piazza, general manager at Southern Tier Brewing Company, said. “It builds the city and we need that downtown especially this time of the year.”

With the Sabres and Bills playing on the same night, Buffalo restaurants and bars were ready to host fans all night long. Businesses in the Waterfront District say the games bring a major boost on a cold December day.

Many fans wanted to watch both games, planning their night in advance to make sure they didn’t miss any of the action.

“We might leave between the first period and the second period come over here get another drink and get something to eat and then try and make it home for the second half,” Dave Trent said before heading to the Sabres game.

One Bills fan said the team’s success contributes to the overall prosperity of the city.

“We’re winning that’s what’s bringing everybody out. So once we keep doing that we’ll keep on supporting each other. Keep doing what we’re doing. They keep on winning we’ll keep on supporting,” James Pugh said.

D.C. Skelton recently moved back to Buffalo after living in California for many years. She is excited to share the Bills and Sabres seasons in her home city.

“Everybody looks out for everybody it’s always been that way I don’t know how to describe it other than it’s home,” Skelton said. “It encourages people to get together and support the team but also the businesses and one another. It is a sense of feeling togetherness.”

Next week the Bills are back in Orchard Park, hosting the New York Jets. It’s their first game at Highmark Stadium since Nov. 13.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.