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Tackling the new safety rules for the Bills' first home playoff game in 25 years

Posted at 6:27 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 06:27:45-05

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the first time in 25 years, the Buffalo Bills will be playing a playoff game on home turf in Orchard Park.

Saturday afternoon's game against the Indianapolis Colts will be the first game of the season with fans in attendance, with 6,700 allowed in the stands.

And police in the area are putting new measures in place to ensure fans can safely watch the game in person.

Traffic Changes

The Erie County Sheriff's Office will begin enforcing a new traffic pattern near Bills Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

From then until after the game is over, Abbott Road will be closed to thru-traffic in both directions along the stretch of road running between the lots.

Bills fans who have their ticket to the game and a parking pass will be allowed to access Lot 2 and Lot 6 from Abbott Road. The sheriff's office is asking all other drivers to avoid the area entirely and find an alternate route.

Big Tree Road will remain open in the area the whole day.

Stadium Safety Protocols

Both the Erie County Sheriff's Office and Orchard Park Police will also enforce special rules to ensure fans do not gather around the stadium before the game.

The police department tells 7 Eyewitness News only people who have a ticket to the game are allowed on stadium property and no tailgating will be allowed.

In order to cut down on crowds when fans arrive, police officers will enforce a staggered entry into the stadium for the two hours before kickoff. Each ticket holder has an assigned entry time to which police say they must adhere. All gates will be open.

All ticket holders were required to get tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday and Thursday, and in order to get into the game, fans must present their test results and a valid photo ID at the gate.

The police department says if all of the fans follow the rules, it should be an enjoyable day for everyone.

"Be patient with us. Please follow the rules, we're trying to keep everyone safe and healthy," said Orchard Park Police Captain Patrick Fitzgerald. "We're looking forward to hosting additional games if the Bills continue to win and we look forward to hopefully a Super Bowl appearance."

Fans who are in attendance will be required to wear a mask the whole time they're on the premises, except when eating or drinking. The concession stands will all serve the same food options to reduce the number of people wandering around the stadium.

Kickoff of the Bills' Wild Card game against the Colts is at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday.

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