ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – One of the biggest changes this season for the Bills is playing home games without fans in the stands.
It’s unclear if later in the season fans will be back allowed at Bills Stadium but for at least the first two home games, the stands will be empty as it was for the season opener against the Jets.
“It was kind of weird, we definitely needed Bills Mafia there but at the end of the day it has to be done. They say no fans so we just have to execute and play,” Bills wide receiver John Brown said.
Seeing it was a weird sight. And hearing it was even more strange. You could hear everything not only from the low level highlights shot from the stands but also on the TV broadcast. It kind of sounded like a high school game.
“It was weird for sure, we definitely miss Bills Mafia, we wish they could be in the stands for us and hopefully sometime in the near future our wish can come true. Their presence was deeply missed and there’s nothing like playing in front of Bills Mafia, the energy, the excitement, how crazy it gets but we’re making due with what we’ve got and at least we’re playing some football now,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said.
That’s something I think every Bills fan can agree on, no matter where you’re watching at least you’re watching football again.
As Stefon Diggs made his Bills debut, he couldn’t get the full effect of the Buffalo fans.
“I forgot we weren’t having fans so when I first walked out I was like where the hell is everybody at? But then I remembered we can’t have anybody yet so hopefully we talk to the governor a little bit and hopefully we can get some people in their seats because I saw some fans driving in with some signs and it was awesome,” Diggs explained.
And without the fan noise, the Bills had to rely on each other to get pumped up.
“It’s something that I can’t put into words. It’s so unfamiliar, it’s something that it’s gonna take a while for us to get used to but I think coach McDermott does a great job of preparing us and getting us ready for things like this. We had our own energy out there, we were trying to keep each other in the game by cheering each other on the whole time,” Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White said.
“I thought our sideline had great energy today from the players to the coaches, the staff. It was unique and a good sign of who we are with the way guys pulled for one another, loved one another. Listen I’d be lying if I said it was normal but we’ve got a resilient group and I’m proud of them the way that they’ve adjusted to this point all the way from the start of training camp until now,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.
The Bills will see fans next week in Miami as the Dolphins are allowing up to 13,000 fans at their season opener in week two.