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Buffalo Bills’ fans line up for the COVID-19 test, a requirement for them to watch the playoff against the Indianapolis Colts. (Photo : Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills’ fans line up for the COVID-19 test, a requirement for them to watch the playoff against the Indianapolis Colts.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said he would be attending, later changed his mind following a petition spearheaded by Bills fans who want him banned from watching the playoffs.
Bills fans in the stands
The regular season was a ghost town for the Buffalo Bills. For the Bills Mafia, the Bills’ fan movement, now is the time to show extreme support for the team. With the Bills looking forward to hosting an NFL wildcard game against the Indianapolis Colts, the excitement among the 6,700 fans is palpable.
For true-blooded fans to watch the game, first, they have to undergo a COVID-19 rapid test.
A life-long Bills fan, Mark Lovett, said that he wanted to get a shot to witness the Bills in the stadium.
“I’m very lucky to be one of the few fortunate people to come to the game. I’ll be thinking of all the fans and Bills Mafia who aren’t there and cheering for them, too,” Lovett said.
Lovett was only one of a thousand football fans who underwent the rapid test on Wednesday, which continued on Thursday. Fans must bring the results, which should be ‘Negative’ to enter the stadium with no problem.
The Penfield resident added that he missed watching the game since his last playoff attendance. He continued that it only took five minutes to finish the testing. Lovett is hoping that the Bills will hook a win in their upcoming game against the Colts.
For BioReference Vice President of sales, Ryan Kellog, the testing encountered no problems among the fans. Moving forward, Kellog had seen the rush of people in the stands, from morning to evening.
BioReference executive chairman Dr. Jon Cohen said that the testing for the Bills fans was the first obligatory rapid test program in the U.S.
If a fan gets a positive COVID-19 result, their ticket and parking fee will be reimbursed.
Bills fans sign petition
The Bills’ fans, spearheaded by Jeffrey Dorenzo, signed a petition to ban New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from attending the upcoming playoff game.
Some 13,000 fans agreed to the joint petition as they got upset when Cuomo said that only 10 percent of the fans are allowed to attend the game.
“So Cuomo is going to attend our playoff game after telling us that we can only attend at less than 10% capacity? If he thinks he has more right to a seat in that stadium over people who have waited over 20 years for this opportunity, then people better be there to protest his entry. This is OUR team! This is OUR home. We don’t want you here,” Dorenzo stated in his statement.
On Wednesday, a sudden twist of decision happened when Cuomo decided not to attend the game anymore. The 63-year-old politician backed out as the petition gained more than 41,000 signatures on change.org.
Instead of attending, Cuomo said that his playoffs ticket will now go to a nurse from Erie County Medical Association.
Dorenzo told WBEN, the Buffalo radio station, that he was in disbelief with the petition results.
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