Orchard Park, NY (WBEN) - If you went to the Buffalo Bills' home opener yesterday you may have noticed some changes in security. New policies such as enhanced parking lot security and new bag regulations were implemented for the first time at a regular season game this Sunday.
Bills Vice President of Event Operations Andy Major said the changes resulted in a smooth opening day.
"The new Sheriff detail for us worked very well" Major said. "They were very visible out in the parking lots and outside the gates, and I think our fan behavior was real good this game."
The Bills handed out 50,000 clear bags that meet new NFL regulations to people entering the stadium. Major said the giveaway will help fans who return later in the year, and the policy went over well in its first game.
There were some fan complaints about time spent waiting in line to enter the stadium, some waiting in lines so long it caused them to miss the opening kickoff. Major said that the solution to that problem is relatively simple.
"Fans that may not be ready for the screening process, that's a potential slow down. Fans that have prohibited items that they bring to the gate that's a potential slow down, but the real 'crunch' is what is the slowdown. The 'crunch' is basically if you show up at the gate any time after 12:15, or around 30 minutes before kickoff, you're going to be in a line."
Major said the way to avoid being caught in the "crunch" is to simply show up to the gate earlier.
The Bills are back at home this Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers.
The Bills and the League have turned the fan experience into one of "sit down, shut up and know your place." Excessively intrusive security has sucked all the fun out of going to the game. In our section fans were batting around a beach ball. They actually had sheriff deputies running around until they confiscated the ball. I kid you not. They also wanted $9 for a draft beer. That's NINE DOLLARS. I went thirsty. Why should anyone put up with this when they can sit at home and watch it on a HD flat screen?