Bills to allow 6,700 fans inside Bills Stadium for playoffs

All fans attending will be tested, and will be required to wear masks and be socially distant

Albany, N.Y. (WBEN) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that 6,700 fans will be allowed to attend Buffalo Bills home playoff games this January at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park.

All fans attending the games will be tested, and will be required to wear masks and be socially distant. There will be a contact tracing program in place following the game, says Cuomo.

Tailgating around the stadium for the game has been banned, and Erie County will provide its usual game day security and safety plan.

New York State has been working in concert with the Bills, the State Department of Heath, and the NFL in devising the plan to allow fans into the games.

"This is good news in a year when we really need it," said Cuomo in making the announcement. Cuomo acknowledged he, too, will be tested and attend the game in January.

The Bills say approximately 6,200 tickets will be available for purchase on Dec. 31 to Bills Season Ticket Members that opted into purchasing tickets earlier this year. Season Ticket Members will be notified based on seniority.

Club season ticket members will receive an email from the Bills with a set time to go online and select club tickets on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Non-club season ticket members will receive an email with similar instructions on when to go online to select tickets on Friday, Jan. 1.

The two groups will be selecting tickets from different inventory pools. Due to limited capacity, tickets will only be made available in certain sections of Bills Stadium, including the Sideline Club Seat sections, and the 100 and 200 level of Bills Stadium.

Tickets are not expected to be available for all Season Ticket Members, nor are they expected to be available for general public sale.

Tickets will be available in two and four ticket pods only. Only one pod will be available per-each Season Ticket Member account. Should the Bills advance and host a Divisional Round playoff game and New York State permits fans to future games, those fans who attend the Wild Card playoff game will not be eligible to purchase tickets for the Divisional Round.

Fans will be required to pay for their testing as part of their ticket purchase to cover all associated costs. Bioreference Laboratories is providing each test for fans at a reduced cost of $63. There will also be an additional cost of $11 for parking.

Testing for fans will be administered at Bills Stadium in Lot 4, two to three days prior to the playoff game. Instructions on the testing process will be emailed to the ticket holder by the Bills. Only ticket holders who test negative and can provide proof of a negative result will be given entry to the game. Test results will be sent by Bioreference Laboratories via a secure email.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says testing will not be at the expense of county resources. "The county will not be involved in the testing of fans."

The testing conducted will not be rapid style tests but will be laboratory PCR tests that will take time to complete. Poloncarz estimates tests results will likely take about two days.

If a ticket holder tests positive they can contact the Bills ticket office to obtain a refund for the cost of the ticket and the parking fee only. The testing fee is non-refundable.

All fans attending the game must bring proof of their negative test result either on their mobile device or in printed PDF form to gain entry.

"Every person will have to pay a $63 fee for testing and then there is an $11 fee for parking," said Poloncarz.

You can listen to Cuomo's entire press conference below:

Stay tuned for the latest on this developing story...

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