New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo provided his latest thoughts on fans attending games at Bills Stadium in 2020 on Friday.
With only one game left in Orchard Park during the regular season, most are actually looking toward 2021. However, not the 2021 season, the upcoming NFL postseason with this season’s playoffs on the horizon which will begin after the new year.
According to Cuomo, it’s not out of the question that the Bills could have some fans in their venue whenever and whomever comes to town in January. With Buffalo more-than-likely winning the AFC East this season, a home playoff game is in the cards.
However, it’s still not up to Cuomo, it’s up to the science. Cuomo said Dr. Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of Health for New York State will play a big part in the decision.
“We are still looking at it. After we had that [previous] conversation the infection rate went wild in Western New York. The infection rate is now coming down,” Cuomo said. “I’m going to be curious to see where we are when the Bills are in the playoff. Where we are that first week in January.”
Some teams around the NFL have allowed fans, as Cuomo had mentioned on Friday as well. However, some, such as Buffalo’s upcoming opponent, the Denver Broncos, did allow fans to attend games earlier this season. But due to an increase in COVID-19 infection rate, stopped doing so.
The Broncos had no fans Week 1, then Denver had fans at home in Week 2, 7, 8, 11, and now won’t for Weeks 12, 15 and 17.
Another example is the Barclay’s Premier League, the highest division of soccer in England. The EPL recently rolled out a tier-based plan to allow fans back in. The first allowed for 2,000 fans to attend games.
However, after only letting fans back in about two weeks ago, teams playing in London are no longer allowed to have them again because their infection rates in the area quickly jumped back up above the threshold for COVID-19 infection rate. Like the Broncos, those teams reverted back to no fans.
It appears that finding a happy medium in terms of allowing fans in the stands is a tough situation all around the globe… unless you’re Florida.
At minimum, it doesn’t sound like fans are off the table for Bills Mafia in the coming weeks. Folks will have to just do what Sean McDermott would suggest… their due diligence, and potentially do their best to stop the spread of the virus so folks can attend their protentional upcoming home playoff game.
“It depends on where you are on that infection rate and where you are on that hospital capacity. I would love nothing more – on a personal level – to see Buffalonians enjoy this moment,” Cuomo said.
For what it’s worth as well, places like Denver which did allow fans did not let fans tailgate prior to kickoff.
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