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You'll love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium

If the Buffalo Bills are going to stay in Western New York beyond the current lease, I honestly believe they will need a new stadium. In the meantime, you are going to love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium.  

A long list of renovation work is nearing completion and just in time as the Bills approach their first home pre-season game, August 23rd against Tampa Bay.

Last week, Joe Buscaglia, Jeremy White and I were given a tour of the stadium and it was my first time out there since the end of the 2013 season.  From your entrance into the stadium to your in game experience, you will notice significant changes that should make you very happy.

It starts with the so called "super gates" which are designed to improve the flow of fans entering the stadium.  There are fewer gates than in the past but there are more entry points which should allow you to get into the stadium a little quicker.  

There are wider walkways between the gates and the lower bowl which should ease the congestion as fans head to their seats. There is also a new, giant entrance into the lower bowl which will allow a greater number of fans to enter at the same time.

One of the more common complaints from fans over the years had to do with the concession stands and the amount of time one can spend in line.  I once went to get some food at halftime and didn't return to my seat until midway through the third quarter.  The Bills have taken a number of steps to shorten your wait time.  There are additional registers at some of the stands and credit card machines have been added, right next to the registers.  Thats the way they do things at First Niagara Center and it helps speed up the process of placing your order and moving the line along. 

One of my favorite parts of the renovation are the beverage only lines at certain concession stands.  If you only want a beer or a soft drink, you don't have to stand in line with everyone who is ordering food. There is a separate line off to one end of the counter where you can order your beverage.  Its like having an EZ pass and not having to wait in the longer toll booth lines to physically pay the toll.

While the renovation did not include the widening of the concourses, the measures I just mentioned and the elimination of "portables" or the individual carts in the concourses, will help alleviate the congestion.  More point of sales should mean shorter lines and the other steps should shorten the time you spend in the concourse so there will be less of a backup.

In the upper bowl, walls in all four corners of the stadium were blown out to allow easier access to the concession stands.

I think the best part of the tour was seeing the new sports bar which will be situated under the old administration building by the tunnel end of the stadium.  There's an 80 foot long bar!!!  That will cover a lot of people looking for a beer.  Giant garage doors will be rolled up to allow access to the bar which also has concession stands on either side,TV's all over and radiant heat.

 Speaking of TV's, more than 700 new televisions have been added to keep you in touch with the game.  When all those beers result in a trip to the bathroom, you will be able to hear the broadcast of the game thanks to speakers that have been installed.  The number of bathrooms has also been increased from 48 to 60.

When you get inside the stadium, you'll notice the new video boards in the tunnel end as well.  One will show exactly what is being seen on the main jumbotron, which by the way has been expanded from 100 feet to 165 feet.  The other video board will be used for fantasy stats, out of town scores and other in game information.  At halftime, the NFL Red Zone channel will be shown.

The new "front door" to the stadium as the Bills call it, is the team store which will now cover some 8000 square feet as opposed to the current store by the field house which is only 2000 square feet. The store will be open before, during and after the game and will also have TV's for you to watch the game while doing a little shopping.  There will be a corner of the store reserved to honor the Bills who are in the Hall of Fame.  It will eventually include members of the Wall of Fame too.

CLICK HERE to see the new look!



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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New YorkWestern New York
People : Jeremy WhiteJoe Buscaglia
08/12/2014 6:50PM
You'll love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium
Please enter your comments below.
08/12/2014 7:03PM
Who cares?
The Bills will be gone soon. None of this matters. This most likely was your last tour of the Ralph.
08/12/2014 8:56PM
Old Saying
Hey Howard.....just a reminder that you can't polish a turd.
08/12/2014 9:34PM
Makes No Common Sense
Why would you go shopping during a Bills game?
08/12/2014 9:34PM
If you build it...
If you build a WINNING team, fans will flock to the stadium and pay to see them. I'm not going to a NEW stadium to watch a losing team.
08/12/2014 10:57PM
New Stadium BS
KC refurbished in 2011....so why a necessity? Like Cuomo said the Ralph already given quarter million overall.It's not unthinkable (that)Pegula might think about that next if he gets good price for Bills.
08/13/2014 7:28AM
New Stadium or Bust! Not B---S---.
Trying to sink $$$$$ in a dinosaur at the Ralph wont cut it? This team needs a retractable roof, the weather is a big deterrent to the players and the fans. No one wants to sit or play in bad weather conditions. Why would you, unless you have a string or two loose in your brain? Seriously, Cmon Man!
08/13/2014 2:29PM
RE: Who Cares?
Then don't waste your minimum wage brain posting.
08/13/2014 3:21PM
No one wants to play or watch in the bad weather? Ask the patriots and jets fans if they need a roof. that's the dumbest COMMENT I've ever heard. it's what gave all those teams in the ninety's an edge, man up and quit being a girl
08/22/2014 8:16AM
Dome not necessary for cold weather teams
Cold weather teams WITHOUT a DOME (10): Buffalo, Green Bay, Chicago, New England, NY Jets, NY Giants, Denver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cleveland Cold weather teams WITH a DOME (2): Minnesota, Detroit Seems that it's a RARE thing for a cold weather team to have a dome. All the other dome teams are in not horrible cold weather (St. Louis / Indy), or warm weather (Dallas, New Orleans)
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