Bills fans prepare for playoffs in Jacksonville

Buffalo Bills fans who traveled to Atlanta. Buffalo native Ryan Stang has organized several large out-of-town tailgates for WNY fans. He's doing this same this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Bitter temps and snow aren’t going to keep die-hard Buffalo Bills fans from their first playoffs in almost two decades.

North Tonawanda native Brandon Shoemaker is flying out Friday evening to Jacksonville with a few of his friends; he bought tickets Sunday.

“Pretty much as soon as the guy from Bengals scored and they won the game, we’re like we have to do this. Because I was like seven-years-old when they actually made the playoffs the last time,” Shoemaker told News 4.

He’s mildly concerned his flight could get delayed, but plans to hop on the next one if that’s the case. As of Thursday afternoon Buffalo Niagara International Airport had a handful of cancellations and delays.

Shoemaker plans to check out some Buffalo Backer bars once he arrives in Jacksonville.

“Wing It” has been around since 1997 in Jacksonville; owner Dave Morency is expecting between 600 and 900 Buffalo Bills fans over the course of the weekend.

“I’ve got family members coming in. My wife and I own this restaurant, but we have other family members going to work here. We have previous employees that have other jobs that are going to come back to help us,” he told News 4.

The bar’s original owner is from North Tonawanda, so Morency said authentic chicken wings are a prize on the menu.

Live-long Bills fan Ryan Stang organized a Facebook group over the weekend to connect fans interested in making the trip to Jacksonville.

“It went beyond anything I’ve ever experienced as far as planning an event goes,” Stang told News 4.

Stang and his friend Michael Marmion are travelling with more than 50 of their closest friends; they leave Saturday.

“We were smart enough to book as soon as that touchdown was thrown,” Marmion said. He’s paying just under $1,000 for his plane ticket, playoffs ticket, and hotel combined.

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