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Brandon says behavior of Bills' fans not as bad as videos portray

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- If you only looked at frequent offerings of viral videos showing rowdy fan behavior in the parking lots surrounding Ralph Wilson Stadium, you'd assume the Buffalo Bills have a massive problem on their hands.

Russ Brandon, the team's president, insists that isn't the case.

"It’s never positive when you see stuff like that because it doesn’t reflect the fan behavior of 98 percent of the people in the building, but that’s the unfortunate part of the society we live in with technology and so on and so forth," Brandon said Tuesday at the NFL meeting here. "A lot of times I look at things in a factual way, and what’s a mythical way."

As far as Brandon is concerned, those seemingly endless series of clips of fans getting drunk and hurling themselves into vehicles -- and each other -- falls into the "mythical" category of what the Bills' faithful is truly all about.

"The facts are that our game experience has never been better, the facts are that arrests are down significantly, ejections are down significantly," Brandon said.

The Bills released the following information to support Brandon's remarks:

*In 2015, they averaged a team record low of three arrests per game. The year before, they averaged five. Their high was 25 per game in 2010.

*In 2015, they averaged a club record-low 57 ejections per game. The year before, they averaged 80. Their high was 134 in 2011.

"And it starts on policing outside the building," Brandon said. "We have great support from law enforcement officials. (The fans) have bought in to what we’re trying to do with our guest ambassadors and everything that we’re trying to do to improve that experience.

"Yes, it is disappointing when you see (the viral videos) because that becomes the perception. But what’s nice to know is you see it in your surveying, and in your data, and when we get tremendous notes and letters from fans about what a great experience they had. Fifteen years ago, I’m not sure how comfortable some people were bringing their family to a game, but I think we have turned the worm there.

"It’s never going to be perfect, but we strive for perfect."

The Bills also say their Designated Driver program saw a team-record 19,969 fans register to be DDs in 2015. That placed them second in the NFL after ranking fifth in 2014. In 2011, they had 3,375 fans sign up.


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