You’ll need to be on the guest list to get into this exclusive party in L.A.
And you’ll need to be a Bills fan.
The Los Angeles Bills Backers of Santa Monica are hosting a tailgate party at the Cal State Dominguez Hills Sculpture Garden prior to Sunday’s game between the Bills and the Chargers.
Tickets much be purchased in advance and only 1,250 will be sold. Campus security will be charged with keeping fans wearing Chargers colors out of the lot, which is within walking distance of the StubHub Center.
Hall of Famer Andre Reed has already committed to attending and other Bills greats could be joining him, according Kurt Graves, president of the Los Angeles Bills Backers of Santa Monica.
“We are excited to be holding the tailgate before Nathan Peterman’s first start,” Graves said.
Graves founded the Los Angeles Bills Backers of Santa Monica a dozen years ago when the Bills had another first-year starter, J.P. Losman, at quarterback.
An unofficial Bills Backers chapter had been gathering at Bobby McGee’s — and, briefly, the Holiday Inn bar — in Burbank since the Super Bowl era.
At the start of the 2005 season, Graves visited the bar where Losman’s family had planned to watch the games and asked if they would welcome a few hundred more Bills fans.
“Sounds like a bunch of trouble to me,” was the bar owner’s response, Graves recalled.
Graves audibled Busby’s West on Santa Monica Boulevard, where the owner offered free wings at halftime.
“That’s a good start,” Graves said. “Get some Canadian beer and we’ll be in business.”
The Bills crowd now takes over two-thirds of Busby’s West every Sunday, with as many as 500 people singing along to the “Shout!” song for big games.
“The longevity of the bar has been a big thing,” Graves said. “We open at 9 a.m. every week, well before kickoff, and people know they are going to see the same people here week after week, year after year.”
Several former Bills have watched games at Busby’s West, including Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.
A Bills fan was banned in 2006 for harassing Losman’s family, but aside from that, all fans and supporters of the Bills are welcome, Graves said.
Except for one notorious L.A. native.
Membership: Around 500
Gathering place: Busby’s West, 3110 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif.
Tradition: Opens at 9 a.m. on Bills gamedays
Jonah Bronstein is a BNblitz.com contributor. If your Bills Backers chapter has a unique story, reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.