“You can’t drink all day, unless you start in the morning,” one middle-aged female fan of the Buffalo Bills told me at their home-opener on Sunday September 16th, 2018. It was 0930 at the time, proving her point.

That the Bills are important to Buffalo seems self-evident to me. But after tailgating with over 100,000 fans and some of my kids this past weekend, I really get how important their NFL team is to their community.

It’s like Burning Man without having to go to the desert in northwest Nevada for more than a week.

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[Prof Bruce (center) with (some of) his kids]

It brings them together in a way nothing else seems to do.

And, frankly, their town needs a shot of something.

Here’s a photo essay of my time in Buffalo; see below.

I estimate that each home game is worth about $1 million to property owners reasonably close to New Era Field.

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[tailgating? yep, in the Church’s parking lot]

We tailgated in Wisdom Community Church’s parking lot. They had about 100 vehicles in their parking lot, partying at $20 each. That’s $2,000 raised for the Church plus whatever they made from their 50/50 draw. If this applies to all 8 home games and 2 exhibition games, they probably raised $20k per season. Should the Bills ever again make the playoffs (an unlikely event this season after losing their first two games by an aggregate score of 23-78 and having one of their veteran DBs quit on the team at half time at their home-opener), they’ll make even more.

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[married for more than 20 years, this couple is in charge of their 50/50]

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[my youngest son, Matthew, and girlfriend, Kristina, enjoying a beverage]

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[nearby fan enjoying something that is consumed but not in liquid form]

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[my daughter, Rachel, with boyfriend, Pat, shirtless and protecting his beverage with a Bills drink insulator]

I lost count, but assuming there are 50 adjacent property owners making at least $2k from each Bills home game or $20k a season (and some of them much more from merchandise, food and liquor sales), that’s at least a million dollars per season for lucky landlords who by chance happen to be close to their (rather rundown) stadium.

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[”luxury” accommodation in Buffalo close to New Era Field]

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[shedding a little (sun)light on the building]

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[continental brekkie served in the front office]

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[neighboring self storage biz]

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[turquoise rooms anyone?]

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[more fans tailgate than can fit in the stadium, which holds 80,000–Buffalo is rated one of the top 5 NFL cities for tailgating] 

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[our neighbors travel in style–via limousine]

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[significant police presence including swat teams ready for anything; roads blocked by heavy vehicles so only pedestrians can wander drunkenly about with open beer cans and other beverages un-hassled by friendly cops]

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[don’t mess with us]

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[I don’t want to work, I just want to drink all day…]

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[traffic begins to build from 0630 on game days]

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[forgot your music? don’t worry, be happy, your neighbors didn’t]

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[we’re all Bills fans (today)]

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[rules in a knife fight? there are no rules in a knife fight]

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[tuk tuk to the game whilst drinking with both hands]

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[two roaring, fast movers fly over the stadium shaking the world]

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[Bills merchandise available here and here and here and…]

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[the closer you get to the stadium, the more your rent increases… here it’s $25!]

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[if it’s a flat surface, we’ll rent it to ya]

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[hardly anyone there]

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
1-613-762-8884
bruce@brucemfirestone.com
twitter.com/ProfBruce
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