ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was an experience 25 years in the making.
“It was amazing. My voice is a little raspy from screaming so loud,” said Dani Zappia of West Seneca.
Zappia and her dad, Tony were two of some 6,700 to watch the Bills beat the Colts in person.
“It was so loud it felt like it was packed even though it wasn’t,” she said. It’s not like a normal game where there are tons of people congregating. It was a little weird to walk through the halls and not see tons of people,” Zappia continued.
All fans were tested for COVID-19 last Wednesday and Thursday outside the stadium. They had to show their negative test result to enter the stadium on Saturday.
Tony said he wasn’t concerned with contracting COVID-19 based on the precautions he observed at the game. “The social distancing and mask wearing was all in line with what it should be. We in no way felt compromised being there,” he said.
The Bills ticket office sent out an email Saturday night, right after the big win, to club and season ticket holders notifying them when they could purchase tickets for next weekend's game.
(1/2) @BuffaloBills wasting no time notifying fans for upcoming playoff game ticket purchase. This email went out to club season/season ticket holders last night. Not pictured for security purposes: the ticket holder's time slot to purchase tickets scheduled for this morning. pic.twitter.com/sONu6Slt5h— Ali Touhey (@Ali2e) January 10, 2021
The state still hasn’t said whether it will again allow fans in the stands…but it seems likely if Saturday’s fan behavior is any indication.
After the game, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted “All reports I've received are everything went well with the fans at the Stadium today. Fans followed rules beforehand, no tailgating was observed, and just minor issues inside stadium. Thank you to all for doing a good job!"
All reports I've received are everything went well with the fans at the Stadium today. Fans followed rules beforehand, no tailgating was observed, and just minor issues inside stadium. Thank you to all for doing a good job!— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) January 9, 2021
We reached out to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to find out whether it made any arrests and are waiting to hear back.
Fans like Dani Zappia won’t be eligible for tickets next week since she already attended one playoff game. still she hopes others are given the same opportunity she had.
“I think every season ticket holder knows that we don’t want to ruin it for the next round of people because they deserve it just as much as we did.”