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Of the NFL’s 28 stadiums, the home of the Buffalo Bills… now known as Bills Stadium… lands smack in the middle of a recent ranking put together by ESPN.
Using seven sub-categories, which includes atmosphere, features, traditions, tailgating, location, cost and history, Bills Stadium landed at No. 14 overall in the world-wide leader’s poll. In regard to Buffalo’s ranking, there’s really two sides of the ledger. The good is the tailgate, and really, overall fan experience. In terms of the Buffalo tailgate, ESPN ranks theirs the second-best in the entire league, and probably a close second to the No. 1 in Kansas City.
On the flip side, the negatives surround the out-dated building itself.
Here’s part of ESPN’s breakdown on Bills Stadium:
What’s good about it: When “table jumping at tailgating” is listed multiple times as a top characteristic in a survey of NFL Nation writers, you know you’ve got something unique. The Bills experience is all about fun, whether that’s in the parking lot or singing “Shout” at the top of your lungs inside. Plus, there’s not a bad seat in a house that has seen incredible success on the field (see the 1990s), including the biggest comeback in NFL history — 32 points! That game is known simply as “The Comeback.”
What needs work: The stadium, known as New Era Field until July, is showing its age with very few aesthetically pleasing characteristics. Traffic in and out of it is a nightmare with very few route options. And once you get settled into your seat it can feel like a near-literal wind tunnel.
While it’s hard to not take a middle rank personal for Bills Mafia in these sorts of polls. Being objective, this is probably spot on.
Undoubtedly, the Buffalo faithful bring a full-court press when it comes to being a fan. From the weekend-long partying in the parking lot prior to the game, braving the cold (sometimes without any sort of shirt) to root for their team regardless of their record, to, speaking of which, often invading the 27 other NFL venues to cheer on their guys. Bills fans do it right.
But Bills Stadium? There’s a reason why we often hear of talk of Buffalo getting a new home down the line. It remains to be seen exactly how that’s handled. Does the team and Erie County, who owns the team’s current stadium in Orchard Park, put forth a huge face lift on the current site? Or is a new stadium built somewhere in western New York? That’s a whole different discussion for another day.
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