ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills’ regular season home opener will be this coming Sunday, and fans heading to the Ralph Wilson Stadium can expect a few changes this year.
For one thing, there are now walk-through metal detectors at Gate 3. Staff will continue to use wands to screen guests at other gates this season, but the walk-through metal detectors are expected to be in place in front of all of the gates next year. “It will really ease the efficiency and the process for fans coming in. It’s also a less invasive process for fans. and it’s something that the NFL has determined as a best practice,” Andy Major, VP of Guest Services for the Buffalo Bills, explained at a news conference Tuesday morning.
A large focus of that event was to help get the word out and remind all fans about the best practices and rules for using the Accessible Lots at the Ralph. “It’s a matter of respect for people with disabilities,” said Frank Cammarata, Executive Director for the Erie County Office for the Disabled.
As they have done in past years, Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies will be stationed at the entrances to the Accessible Lots at the Ralph, checking the permits for all vehicles trying to park there. They will be keeping an eye out for counterfeit and expired permits, as well as making sure the person who was issued the permit is actually in the vehicle when it is being used. “If the qualifying individual is not an occupant in the car, we do seize the tag,” warned Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard.
And, new this year, there are a few more items that staff at the Ralph will seize if fans try to bring them into the stadium. The big ones that are new additions to the list are drones and tobacco products and accessories.
The Ralph has been a smoke-free facility for years, but now you cannot bring your cigarettes, lighters, or e-cigarettes into the stadium with you at all. Those items should be left in your car when you are finished tailgating in the parking lot. “We still want fans to have a great time, be responsible,” Major said. “You know, they can drink and they can smoke outside at the tailgate parking areas. We just ask fans to be responsible and understanding of other guests’ experiences.”
If you’re heading to the Ralph for game day, make sure you check out the full list of permitted and prohibited items.
The following items are PERMITTED at Ralph Wilson Stadium:
- Additional clothing and blankets (must be carried loosely)
- Clear bags smaller than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
- One gallon clear plastic freezer bags
- Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand (4.5” x 6.5”), with or without a handle or strap
- Cameras with lenses shorter than six (6) inches
- Food – unopened, single serve containers carried in an approved size clear plastic bag
- iPads and tablet devices
The following items are PROHIBITED at Ralph Wilson Stadium:
- ** NEW – Tobacco products – including cigarettes/electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, lighters/matches *
- ** NEW – Drones, Unmanned Aircraft Devices
- Alcoholic beverages, illegal substances
- Animals (with the exception of service animals for guests with disabilities)
- Bags, camera bags, backpacks, any bag larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
- Beach balls, footballs, balls, inflatable devices (balloons)
- Bottles, cans, thermoses, and other beverage containers
- Cameras with lenses longer than six (6) inches
- Clothing or material with profane language or obscene graphics
- Headwear or clothing that may impede the view of guests
- Laptop computers, radios
- Laser pointer devices, noisemakers
- Promotional materials not approved by the Bills
- Seat cushions larger than 15″ x 15″ or that contain armrests, zippers, pockets, flaps or metal backs
- Selfie sticks, sticks or poles
- Video cameras, monopods and tripods
- Weapons (knives, box-cutters, firearms, etc.)
- ANY OTHER ITEM DEEMED DANGEROUS OR INAPPROPRIATE
Any attempt to bring alcohol into the stadium will be considered a violation of the Bills Fan Code of Conduct and will result in the guest being ejected, and may result in arrest and/or ticket purchase privileges being revoked.