ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nothing will keep Bills Mafia away from Highmark Stadium this Saturday – not even the forecasted single-digit temperatures.
“It could be minus 30 and I think you would still have 73 thousand people there cheering on,” said lifelong Bills fan Jason Poch. “I think it’s one of those things where the cold has not stopped fans before, and as long as [the team] show up, they play, and we’re all there to cheer on the victory, no one’s going to remember in a couple weeks whether it was zero degrees or 30 degrees.”
Fans say staying warm is about preparation and layers. Lots of layers.
With this being the first home playoff game in front of a full stadium in more than two decades, fans say they’re spending the week making sure they’re ready.
“I can’t miss my first Bills playoff game I have tickets to. There’s no way I wouldn’t go,” said Justin Frost.
Bridget Thornton moved to Buffalo from San Francisco last year. She said she’s prepared to take on the cold just to be able to watch the team play alongside her loved ones.
“I’m still a new Bills fan. My husband has been a fan since he was 12-years-old. He’s been through the 80’s and the 90’s and then he converted me,” she said. “There’s just nothing like the Bills.”
Highmark Stadium allows fans to bring in extra clothes, blankets and even seat cushions to keep warm, though fans are prohibited from wearing any battery-powered heated clothing.
Dr. Richard Charles said there is potential for frost bite during the game, and drinking alcohol could exacerbate that.
“Alcohol is a vasodilator, so it reduces your body temperature. You lose more heat than if you do not drink,” he said. “The other thing is, you might not be fully aware that your hands, your feet, your nose, your ears are in a dangerous position.”
Dr. Charles said the best things fans can do to stay warm is to keep moving around, and if the cold becomes unbearable – find a warm place inside the stadium.