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Assemblyman calls for Bills to allow season ticket holders to skip 2020 season without penalty

Redskins Bills Football
Posted at 11:03 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 11:37:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced he has sent a letter to Terry and Kim Pegula, the owners of the Buffalo Bills, urging them to allow Bills season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic without penalty.

Although the NFL has announced that as of this time they plan to have a season, they have not announced any specific plans for playing the games with or without fans in the stands.

Ryan says the Pegulas should allow season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 without penalty, and allow them to keep their seats for the 2021 season.

"While many fans will understandably look forward to attending in-person games this fall, fans who face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, due to age or underlying health conditions, would prefer to skip in-person attendance during the 2020 season," said Ryan.

The assemblyman said the New York Giants and New England Patriots have already announced their season ticket holders may skip the 2020 season and keep their tickets for the 2021 season.

“Bills fans are the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and we all look forward to the return of NFL games this fall," said Ryan. "While we don’t yet know what the NFL season will look like, we do know that COVID-19 related restrictions will be in place to protect the health and safety of fans. In the event that fans are allowed to return to New Era Field, it is reasonable and responsible for the Buffalo Bills to allow season ticket holders to skip this season and return to their seats in 2021 after more progress has been made against the virus.”

7 Eyewitness News reached out to the Bills for comment, the team released the following statement:

“Please note that every effort is being made to accommodate our current season ticket members who are navigating through this difficult pandemic. We have and will continue to encourage them to reach out to their account representative with any questions or concerns.”

You can read the full letter Ryan sent to the Pegulas below.

Dear Mr. Pegula and Ms. Pegula:

I write today regarding the 2020 NFL season and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While New York’s phased reopening is continuing, plans for the 2020 NFL season are still under development as our nation continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As this process moves forward, I urge you to allow Buffalo Bills season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season without penalty.

Our state and our region have made remarkable progress against the virus. We have been in a phased reopening process for over a month and have continued to see a decline in new COVID-19 cases and deaths. Western New York’s positive test rate remains at just 1%. This is encouraging news and makes me hopeful that some form of in-person attendance at New Era Field will resume this fall. While many fans will understandably look forward to attending in-person games this fall, fans who face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, due to age or underlying health conditions, would prefer to skip in-person attendance during the 2020 season. I strongly believe those Buffalo Bills fans should not be penalized for taking precautions to protect their own health and safety.

The Buffalo Bills organization should follow the lead of other NFL teams and allow season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season and still keep their seats for the 2021 season. Other NFL teams have already announced plans to allow fans to skip the 2020 season without penalty. The New York Giants and New England Patriots have said that season ticket holders many skip this season and retain their tickets for 2021. In the event that fans are allowed to return to New Era Field, it is reasonable and responsible for the Buffalo Bills to allow season ticket holders to skip this season and return to their seats in 2021 after more progress has been made against the virus.

As you are aware, Bills fans are the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and we all look forward to the return of NFL games this fall. While we don’t yet know what the NFL season will look like, we do know that COVID-19 related restrictions will be in place to protect the health and safety of fans. I again urge you to take this important step to protect the safety of season ticket holders, and ensure they are held harmless for taking necessary precautions. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Sean M. Ryan

Member of Assembly
New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan