ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is not sure if Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, "has the authority" to make decisions on how to allow fans to attend Buffalo Bills games at Highmark Stadium this fall.
On a conference call Wednesday afternoon, the governor said he does not believe Erie County Executive Poloncarz is legally correct in his assertion that this move to require fans to be fully vaccinated in order to attend home games at Highmark Stadium.
JUST IN: Here is the audio of @NYGovCuomo when asked about Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz's plan to make vaccines a requirement for #Bills fans at the stadium. Leading up he was asked if mandate can be implemented without state approval. #Buffalo @WKBW pic.twitter.com/AM47MIkkA7— Jeff Russo (@JeffRussoWKBW) April 14, 2021
On Tuesday, the county executive announced that anyone who attends a Bills game this season will need to show proof of vaccination prior to attending.
The governor believes that "it is too early" to make this decision, and the state would need to sign off on it before it was to go into effect.
The Buffalo Bills said, "they will continue to cooperate and comply with all New York state and local government regulations regarding our sporting events."
Statement from the #Bills regarding fans at the stadium: As we did last year, we will continue to cooperate and comply with all New York state and local government regulations regarding our sporting events @WKBW— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) April 13, 2021
In a statement to 7 Eyewitness News, a spokesperson for Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released the following
It is very early to make any decisions, and that’s something everyone realizes; after all, we are currently in a third wave of COVID-19 locally and numbers are rising, so anything could happen and in that light, in-person attendance at any sporting event seems far off until those numbers come down. The start of the season is still 4.5 months away, so a lot can happen in that time. However, both the stadium in Orchard Park and the Key Bank Center are county facilities, so (like any county facility) the county does have the power to determine what happens there. We have worked with NYSDOH all along and will continue to follow their guidance as to what “maximum capacity” might be by the start of the football season, but the bottom line is that the more people who get vaccinated in the next few months, the better the chance of a full stadium in the fall, which is what everyone wants.