Bills fans react to new rules
Updated: Thursday, October 10 2013, 08:25 PM EDT
Orchard Park, N.Y.-- Brand new players. Brand new coach. Brand new rules.
On Friday, thousands of Buffalo Bills fans attending the pre-season home openers at Ralph Wilson Stadium saw some new stadium and NFL rules being enforced.
Among the biggest changes—large purses are no longer allowed in NFL stadiums. Instead, people are only allowed to carry hand-sized clutches or objects fitting inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
On Friday night, several security officers and Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies handed out plastic bags to hand to fans who didn’t know about the rule change.
Rochester resident Ali Beck was in line to go into the stadium when she was asked to turn around. She stuffed all her belongings into a Ziploc bag.
“I had to find a plastic bag from a security guard,” Beck explained. “I took his last plastic bag. Now, I can get back in line and have a good time.”
Other women carrying larger bags and purses had to make the trek back to their cars to drop off their bags.
Bills fan Daun Milligan says this new rule is a hassle and goes overboard.
“I can't fit my car keys or a few personal items in a small clutch,” she said. “People who have kids can't bring in a diaper bag.”
Theresa Roland brought a baby to the game on Friday. She knew to place the contents of her diaper bag into a plastic bag. Roland understands why these rules are needed.
“I think it's just the world we live in today,” Roland said. “You live in the world where you have to be transparent for safety reasons.”
Zippered seat cushions are also not allowed in the stadium.
There are changes to tailgating rules as well.
Zachary Werner and Michael Will of Gates were at Friday’s game early so they could tailgate. They even brought a table so they could play beer pong, but their game was quickly shut down.
In an attempt to crackdown on binge drinking, the Bills organization has banned kegs, funnels and glass beer bottles.
Fans are also no longer allowed to save parking spots for friends in certain lots—making it harder for them to hold large tailgating parties.
Werner believes the rules go too far.
“I don't think [the rules] are good,” he said. “I mean, I know they are looking out for people's safety but half of [the experience] is getting here early and having fun. They're taking that away and people aren't going to come early anymore.”
Others disagree. They say the rules have been too lenient for too long.
“I don't mind [the rules] at all,” says Deb Gina, who was tailgating with her family on Friday. “Anything to keep it safe. We've had too many young people killed. It's senseless-- people drinking, being hit by cars. They've fallen off of one cliff over there. Let’s keep everyone safe. It's only a football game. It’s only one night.”
Other new rules include a ban on smoking and drinking in lines and a new open container law on the streets surrounding the neighborhood. 13WHAM News saw several people getting ticketed.
Also, about 130 more Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies were out enforcing these rules and patrolling the area.