Two New York state senators want to get people attending Bills games to drink less by opening up beer sales at Ralph Wilson Stadium an hour earlier than is currently allowed by law.
You didn’t read that wrong. The idea is that it will be easier to regulate people if they are inside the stadium instead of congregating in the parking lots until just before kickoff. New York law prohibits beer sales before noon on Sundays and early starts kick off an hour later in Buffalo.
“People are hanging out, tailgating in these lots, at earlier times,” said Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, who sponsored the bill with Sen. George Maziarz. “If [the teams] had the opportunity to open up their concession stands earlier, it could be more regulated.”
The bill wasn’t passed before the state legislature adjourned for the summer last week, but it is expected to be considered again in the fall. It might not pass then, either. Maziarz admitted to the Buffalo News that he’s not sure the bill is a great idea because of potential impact on bars and restaurants in Buffalo and elsewhere in the state.
The Bills released a statement saying that their “focus remains to promote responsibility among our fans who attend games at Ralph Wilson Stadium, regardless of the time.” The Bills would obviously also benefit from increased concession sales and there would be more tax revenue for the state.
Assuming, of course, the plan actually got anyone into the stadium.
Beer is cheaper outside of NFL stadiums, as are any foods consumed at tailgate parties, and that is going to keep some people from heading into the stadium any earlier than they do now. Those parties also become another reason for people to go to the games, which makes it hard to believe they will be rushing into the stadium as the bill’s sponsors might hope.