The pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but the Bills are already making plans to play in a packed house at Highmark Stadium.
The venue has changed names a number of times over the past few years, but it remains one of the most well-known in the NFL, as passionate fans make their presence felt, attempting to give the Bills a sizable home-field advantage. The festivities begin before the games even kick off, as Bills Mafia has made a name for itself by tailgating harder — and longer — than any other fan base in the NFL.
Last season was a difficult test for the team, as it was tasked with playing in an empty stadium — essentially relinquishing home-field advantage. It sure looks like the 2021 season will be a completely different story, given what Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz recently stated.
“We want all fans and staff to be fully vaccinated,” Polancarz said, via USA Today Sports. “Our plan is that unless you are vaccinated, you will not have entry to the stadium. It’s easy and safe.”
“I know people are like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty strict,’” Poloncarz said. “But we’re trying to protect not only the people in the stands, but the players on the field, concessionaires, our sheriff’s deputies, the security guards, and the best way to do it is to ensure that everyone’s vaccinated.”
Stipulating that fans be vaccinated to attend games doesn’t sound strict to us. In fact, we believe announcing plans to play at full capacity is a bit presumptuous, given that it’s only April, and the pandemic plays by its own rules.