ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills fans are known for tailgating and pregame festivities before kickoff. Many fans are worried about where to park and how to get to the game with the stadium construction just across the street, which means people are making their game day travel plans early to avoid traffic and parking mishaps.
“Pardon our dust at the Buffalo Bills. We are dealing with a massive construction project literally across the street from the current stadium,” Andy Major, vice president of operations and guest experience for the Buffalo Bills, said. “We are asking fans for their patience and also their feedback.”
Parking and traffic are two things fans don’t want to fumble on Sunday as the Bills take on the Raiders in the home opener.
“We come for the home opener every year for the past couple of years and we usually park over there. However, I hear it might be a little bit harder this year because they are losing all of them spaces, so we haven’t really decided what we are going to do,” Robert Cortez, a Bills fan from Virginia, said.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says it is expecting similar traffic volume as the previous seasons and that traffic patterns are exactly the same. Fans are encouraged to get to the game early, but cars cannot wait in the shoulder on Rt. 20A or Southwestern Boulevard for the lots to open.
Many fans are creating their own game plan to touch down at the stadium early in the morning.
“My game day plan since I’ve never been here before, I’m just going to go ahead and take an Uber. We already scheduled it so we will see how that goes,” Carlos Lopez from Los Angeles added.
“Try to get here a little bit early just plan ahead. Just hopefully get here by 6:45 a.m. I’m expecting a lot of traffic,” Stephen Jimenez from Texas said.
In terms of parking at the stadium, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 will be open starting at 9 a.m. The limo and bus lot will move to the Southwestern Boulevard side of the stadium and game day staff parking has been moved offsite.
There is no Bills RV lot this season, but neighborhood parking lots are already letting RVs camp out on Friday night, including Wings Flights of Hope, who has been getting calls about parking since May.
“You can see with the campers here already. Usually, we don’t have that many for game day, so I think we are saving this whole row here for campers,” Joseph DeMarco, founder of Wings Flights of Hope, said.
The main message: plan ahead. Bills fans say they are excited and can’t wait for the team to take the field.
“This is my first Bills game ever. I’m super excited, super stoked and can’t wait to see it,” Lopez added.
Bills lots open at 9 a.m., gates open at 11 a.m. and kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The game’s on 4! WIVB, the official broadcast station of the Buffalo Bills, will carry the game in the Buffalo market. Kevin Harlan and Trent Green have the call with sideline reporter Melanie Collins.
Pregame coverage begins with Buffalo Kickoff Live at 11 a.m. Also be sure to check out News 4 Sports+ after the game — it airs on the CW23 at 10:30 p.m. and on WIVB following the 11 o’clock news.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team 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.