ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo detailed plans that would potentially allow fans into Bills Stadium for a home playoff game this January.
According to the plan, the Bills would have 6,700 fans at the stadium and would work on testing fans for COVID-19 before the game.
If fans are allowed into the stadium, they'll need to wear a mask at all times and if they don't they would be ejected from the game.
In the proposal, the state will work with the Bills to conduct contact tracing after the game.
The governor did not explicitly say that fans would be allowed into the stadium for a playoff game, rather that the state is reviewing the plans from the Bills and is working on potentially allowing fans at One Bills Drive.
On Sunday, Gov. Cuomo said the New York State Department of Health would make the determination on fans being allowed into the stadium.
During the press briefing on Wednesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the state is concerned controlling the amount of fans who go to the game and of those who don't wear masks, referencing the large amount of fans who were not wearing masks when fans arrived at the airport after the team clinched its first AFC East division title in 25 years.
The Buffalo Bills released the following statement
We are continuing to work with the governor’s office regarding the details of a plan to possibly host a limited amount of spectators at our home playoff game. Nothing has been finalized at this point.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued the following statement saying he is not part of the discussion with the Bills about their reopening plans
My administration and the Erie County Health Department have not been a part of any discussions regarding the ‘demonstration project’ announced by Governor Cuomo to allow 6,700 fans into Bills Stadium to see a football game and we have no information to add on the proposal. Despite being on several calls with NYS officials for a variety of matters related to the COVID-19 Pandemic over the past few days, no such proposal was brought up and additionally, my recent conversations with staff from the Buffalo Bills indicated to me that while the Bills submitted numerous plans to return fans to the stadium in past months they were unsure whether any of the plans were being actively considered by the state.
Furthermore, a decision to allow fans into the stadium must be made no later than the middle of next week in order to properly prepare for a game in two weeks, including the sale and distribution of tickets to fans and the activation of appropriate support staff for such an event. Therefore, a decision must be made by the middle of next week to properly prepare for such a game.