Bills fan excitement driving ticket prices to new highs

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The team’s new ownership, the home opener, and a game against rivals the Miami Dolphins have Buffalo Bills fans excited for Sunday’s game.

On Tuesday, Terry and Kim Pegula won the bidding process to purchase the Buffalo Bills by offering $1.4 billion, a record for an NFL team. But fans are also excited about plans for a tribute to Ralph Wilson Jr., which will take place before the game.

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Andre Reed will be present for the tribute, although how they will participate is unclear at this time.

Bills fan Bill Herman is excited for Sunday.

“I’m pretty excited this year because finally I think there’s a lot of hope that this really might be the year they get to the playoffs. Especially if you get off to a 2-and-0 start,” he told News 4.

The game is official sold out and this level of fan excitement is driving the price of tickets on the secondary market higher than usual. One ticket broker told News 4 that he had 4,000 tickets for sale five days ago and now he only has close to 200 left.

One ad for tickets on Craigslist offered tickets for $450 in the 100 level, which is three times face value.

Nick Giammusso, President of VIPSeats, says this kind of ticket frenzy is pretty historic.

“The demand is through the roof. The prices for the home opener are definitely uncharted territory for us.”

Giamusso said tickets on VIPSeats were selling for $85 last week before the Bills beat Chicago but on Friday tickets started at $201.

But police are warning fans to be careful where they purchase tickets after a Buffalo man was arrested Thursday for selling bogus tickets to Sunday’s game.

The Better Business Bureau also offered advice.

“Buying on the secondary market can be useful for non-season ticket holders or occasional fans heading to the Ralph,” said Warren Clark, President and CEO of BBB. “But proceed with caution this close to the game. There are legitimate ticket brokers out there with real tickets, but also scammers who want to take advantage of the hype. It’s important to take it slow and know the difference. If you are going to take a risk, make sure it’s at least a calculated one.”

For those who do have tickets to the game, gates will open early, at 11:30 a.m. Sunday the tribute to Ralph Wilson Jr.

The game will be televised live on WIVB-TV Channel 4 at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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