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Letter: Downtown stadium would kill tailgating

Downtown stadium would kill tailgating

There is no doubt that relocating the home of the Buffalo Bills from Orchard Park to the heart of downtown Buffalo would have a substantial effect on the city’s economy. Change is generally a good thing. However, with relocation looming, tailgating – the best part of being a Bills fan in the last decade – may become a thing of the past.

For a lot of casual Bills fans, if you took away the tailgating, they probably wouldn’t go to the games. Until recently, diehard fans and season ticket holders would commute to the Ralph every Sunday knowing what was in store for their Bills – a lopsided loss and below average quarterback play. The only reason we continued to go, apart from our unnatural love for the game that is American football, was the promise of ice cold beer, delicious barbecue and some games of catch or cornhole before the game.

In our house, football Sunday has taken on its own form of religious significance. Even when we know the Bills have no chance of winning, we wake up bright and early, fill the cooler, grab the grill, load up the Bills lawn chairs and games and head due west on our pilgrimage to the Ralph.

Currently, the stadium’s site in Orchard Park contains more than 180 acres. The site has 100 acres of asphalt immediately surrounding the stadium and thousands more parking spaces in nearby private lots. By comparison, the largest potential site within the City of Buffalo, the South Park location, contains only 122 acres. As a result, most fans would have to park in scattered lots and parking ramps throughout downtown, many of which specifically prohibit tailgating.

Peter Veech