There are several lots and tailgates to attend; which one is best depends on your group makeup (when you arrive, where you are coming from, and how fast of an exit you desire). Some of the more popular lots include:
Hammers Lot: Cost: $30 Home lot of the world-famous Pinto Ron Tailgate and Ketchup Ceremony, every game 90 minutes before kickoff. It is a must-see for most attending their first Bills game. Here is the map of his location.
Pros: Clean lot, excellent security, and separate female/male portapotties. There are rules—no glass bottles. No funnels and no dizzy bats tend to keep the drunkenness down to a manageable level. Trash pickup is enforced. There are security cameras. The stadium is only a 10-minute walk from here.
Cons: Very tightly packed cars, room for cornhole and beer pong, not for throwing footballs/ playing tag, etc. Not a lot of space for young children to run around. Need to be early, even with a reserved spot—opener by 7:00 AM, most other games by 8:00. Really tough to exit after the game. Most of us plan to stay and tailgate after the game for at least 60 minutes.
VERY IMPORTANT! DIRECTIONS TO HAMMERS
Waze and every other GPS will have you take Southwestern to Abbott Road and take a right into Hammers. This WILL NOT WORK ON GAME DAYS as Abbott in front of the stadium is closed. You must enter Abbot Road from Big Tree Road, with a left into Hammers. Please review the linked map. Augie’s tip: If you are going to Hammers Lot, try to be sure you are making a right turn into the lot. The steady stream of traffic makes it almost impossible to make a left turn into the lot unless you are very, VERY early. ExiledInIllinois’ tip: They shut down Abbott Road in front of the stadium at around 8 am. That means from Southwestern Blvd to just past the scoreboard is closed. The only way to get to Hammer’s is from the back. Beat around California Road, to Big Tree, to Abbott.
Allen St. Lot(s): $30
2 min walk to stadium. Access from 20A/Big Tree Rd side of stadium off Abbott Rd. Abbott Rd. access applies. 5 houses share Parking. Street party, family friendly, opposing fan friendly, all are welcome. Porta John's on site. Room for Rv Parking, and small limo busses or limos. Fun, friendly, enjoy your beverages, food, music. Table breaking is not allowed. Come as strangers leave as friends and maybe a little home made Applebee's moonshine will be served. We also act as an overflow for the Bills Mafia House tailgate parties, park on Allen St and walk to the Mafia House (5 houses down).
Bills' Mafia House: $30
So born and raised bills fan moved to buffalo about 12 years ago after spending many years finding my path to here. Had the opportunity to buy what is now the mafia house as my first fixer upper place and moved in and started fixing it up and decided to give it a custom paint job and turn it into a nice tailgate space. Over the past few years we have continued to develop a relationship with Viva Las Bills and Bills Smoker Guy as well as the Mafia Babes and have put a focus on running a fun filled atmosphere tailgate that welcomes everyone! We have also started partnering with other tailgate groups from other cities to come tailgate at the House when their teams come to visit to make everyone feel welcome and create a fun fan friendly place where we can all gather, have a great time, and make new friends. We park a ton of Rvs and the house is always rented out by different guests week to week so the atmosphere is always fun, ever changing and always inviting! The back yard is where the tailgates always happen. To find the Bills Mafia House, come down Fay St. and walk down the open strip to the back and join in anytime! There’s always at least one fire, most of the time multiple and always music and of course always a fan friendly crowd! Throughout the tailgate morning if you can’t find us listen for the federal horn siren that blows a few times an hour and you will find us, although honestly we are very easy to find. From the yard we look directly at gate 2 & 3 so if you're close to those gates turn around and you can’t miss us. Again, Abbott Rd. access applies. Porta Johns onsite and maintained. No Table Smashing!
ECC Lot: $25
Opens 4 hours before the game. Will be a line to get in, but it goes fast. Can enter from Big Tree as well as Southwestern. Great lot for easy in and out, especially driving to downtown. Two separate areas to tailgate. If entering from Southwestern, go left and more the traditional party lot. Go right, and there are plenty of open spaces and fields. Backlot is excellent if you have more than a few young children that want to run around and play and not be in the actual “thick” of the party scene. Backlot now looks like it will be the Uber pick-up zone. No idea how that will affect spaces. We would greatly appreciate a first-hand report.
Pros: Easy in and out, especially if heading north after the game to downtown via RT 5. Always spaces, plenty of room to set up, and always a great time to be had.
Cons: Can get quite messy with people not picking up trash—very few porta-potties. Men usually use the thicket of trees in front, and often that is quite visible. Good 15-20 minute walk to the stadium, recommend leaving tailgate no later than 12:10 if you want to assure you are in your seat at kickoff.
Berts Bikes on Southwestern: $15
We bring this up only because we have had friends park here when a VERY quick exit is essential. It is cheap, @$15 to park, and a quick right-hand turn on Southwestern to right turn on Brompton, right turn on McKinley, and you are essentially out of the stadium traffic. We cannot vouch for facilities, tailgate atmosphere, etc., as our friends only park there and then just head to Hammers or another lot to join a tailgate. There are several smaller and more cost-efficient lots located on Big Tree and Southwestern. Any suggestions by members are highly appreciated.
Mud Lot on 20A: Easier entry for folks coming from the Southtowns and RT 219. Big Party lot is about all we know. We would guess there is a good reason it is called the mud lot on rainy days. Any feedback here from folks that park on this side of the stadium would be greatly appreciated.
Other Lots on 20A: Directly across from the main lot (Bills side), essentially lined up on the 50-yard line. There are 4-5 private lots that connect, and all are pretty decent. Each one is 20 bucks to park. Plenty of room for cornhole, tossing the ball, bonfires, etc. If you are looking for complete chaos, this isn’t for you, but if a nice happy medium is what you prefer, then check them out. We have always had a good time there with plenty of good people as well. Another bonus is if you are sitting on the Bills side, it is easy to get to your seats as you are lined up on the 50 when crossing 20a into the main lot.
Bills Lots and RV lot, please see Bills official site for information and permits.
Uber: Taking UBER to the game is pretty straightforward and as easy as in any other city. However, UBER drivers may be limited if you are looking to leave downtown at, say, 10 am and into the teeth of the traffic.
The UBER lot for pick-up after the game is now the backlot of ECC, rideshare lot.
Image Credit - Josh Simons