ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — When the Buffalo Bills host their first playoff game in 25 years, they will be doing so in front of a live audience.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Bills Stadium will be open to a limited number of fans for the playoffs. Bills games had been closed to fans for the entire 2020 regular season as part of New York state’s COVID-19 protocols regarding professional sports.
The plan allows for 6,700 fans, with attendees needing to register a negative COVID-19 test before being granted entrance. The team will work with the state’s Department of Health to conduct contact tracing afterward.
Fans will be socially distanced throughout the stadium, with masks required at all times. Fans who fail to comply will be ejected.
New York Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said last week that this is “a public health model that’s never been done anywhere in the country before,” calling it a “demonstration project.” Cuomo hopes this model can provide an example of how to open future mass-gathering events to the public.
Cuomo was joined for the announcement by Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula.