Stadium #1
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, NY
Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills Stadium
October 19, 2014
16 - 17 Win
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See my other visits to
Ralph Wilson Stadium:

SDvsBUF - Oct.19,2008
MIAvsBUF- Dec.9,2007
CINvsBUF - Nov.4,2007

JACvsBUF- Nov.26,2006

  Stadium Vitals
Built: 1973
Capacity: 73,967 seats
Playing Surface: Titan 50 by A-Turf
Draft Beer: $9.00
Hot Dog: $5.00
Stadium Parking: $25.00       
Ralph Wilson
Stadium Address

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127
(716) 312-0409  
Get Directions 
Stadium Review
- The Improbable Comeback of Lederhosen

Buffalo Bills OktoBILLSfest - Lederhosen with Trachten, Loferl 2 piece SocksTwo-thousand and fourteen marked the nineteenth year that the men in my family have reconvened in the small hamlet of Orchard Park, New York for our annual Buffalo Bills Football retreat. Since the beginning, our little retreats have focused on great food, camaraderie and Buffalo Bills football. Over the years, we’ve managed to master the part about great food (with our seafood boils, rotisserie roasted turkey dinners, beer butt chickens, and wild game dinners), but I think what we’ve been missing is a tailgate identity. With our second annual OktoBILLSfest under our belt, it seems that we finally have something unique to hang our German Alpine hats on. Inspired by our own German heritage, we donned authentic leather lederhosen to compliment our pewter-capped German Beer Steins, thereby bringing a little slice of Bavaria to western New York.

17th Annual Family Weekend Reatreat - Buffalo Bills TailgatingNot since we were, “those guys that slept in a U-Haul truck”, has our tailgate been more recognizable within the RV lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but it took a herculean effort to pull this whole thing off. Our day began a four in the morning on Saturday (Por-AYE-EM), as we quickly got ready and boarded the RV to reserve our spot in line. Since the reemergence of my Buffalo Bills as a wholly respectable NFL franchise, there has been some renewed interest all over western New York and southern Ontario among the fans of Buffalo Bills Nation. With that renewed interest also came a host of additional tailgaters to invade the lot and jockey for these coveted weekend camping spots. I was told that in the last few weeks, the RV lot was selling out by noon on Saturday, so I wanted to make sure we got in line on Abbot Road bright and early this year. By the time we arrived, the rain was pouring down in buckets and we were twentieth in line. Within the hour, over one-hundred RV’s had joined us.

OktoBILLSfest - Tailgating and Grillin'The lot opened promptly at six o’clock, so we pulled into our spot, cracked open a few beers, sang some German folksongs, and crashed as we waited for the storm to blow over. By 9:30am, we were up and moving again, preparing to start a fire outside and fill our German Beer Steins with several micro brews of choice (found the steins for around $10 each at local antique shops, garage sales and of course the Salvation Army). The day was spent snacking and drinking, but before long it was time to prepare the evening feast, so Big Hans (my Dad), got to work. We dined on a roast pork loin with red cabbage and a family favorite, beef rouladen. The rouladen is a tenderized flat steak that's rolled up with bacon, mustard and a pickle inside. After dinner is was back to attacking the growlers of microbrew we had purchased while we chatted by the fire.

OktoBILLSfest - Fowling on the BlacktopWhen we awoke on Sunday (hangover free, mind you), the storm had completely blown over and we were set for a full day of tailgating before the main event at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The rain on Saturday severely limited what we were able to do outside the RV, so with the improved weather, we had lots of work to do. The fowling lanes were setup and they drew a crowd immediately. Fowling is the combination, football-bowling tailgate game, that has been a tradition of ours for many years. As the reigning Commissioner of Fowling, it is my privilege to introduce the game to the masses. In addition, our fantasy football trophy, Der Gral von Graf, also made its first appearance of the weekend. With a cup at its top and Heisman Hans at its heart, Der Gral von Graf is easily the most coveted championship trophy in fantasy football.

OktoBillsfest - Ralph Wilson StadiumWalking around in leather lederhosen was certainly a crowd pleaser, but it occurred to me that when there’s just one guy walking around like a Von Trapp family stepson, it’s seen as somewhat of an embarrassment … BUT, when there’s a whole troop of you guys marching together in leather pants and alpine hats singing German folksongs; for some reason that’s much more acceptable. Inside Ralph Wilson Stadium, we made our way to the upper deck. Since the lower bowl area and the field are actually dug into the ground it makes for a reasonably short climb. We made our way to our seats near the 40-yard line and watched as my team gave the Minnesota Vikings every opportunity to post a well-deserved road win. Through three and a half quarters, the defense looked very mediocre and the offense remained inept, then all of a sudden, with the game on the line, the offense awoke.

Buffalo Bills TailgatingOn fourth and twenty with under two minutes to go, Kyle Orton completes a pass to Scott Chandler over the middle for a 24 yard gain to the Viking 36 yard line. Third and twelve, he goes to Sammy Morris for an 18 yard gain to the twenty yard line. After a 10 yard, false start penalty, with twenty-seven seconds on the clock Orton launches a prayer to Chris Hogan who makes an incredible leaping catch at the two. This then set up the game winning touchdown to Sammy Watkins to cap the improbable comeback. Bills Win!!! The ... Bills Win!!

Personally, I think it was the lederhosen.

For more information on the city of Buffalo, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: September 15, 2013 - Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills

     NFL: November 21, 2012 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

     NFL: November 6, 2011 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

NFL: November 7, 2010 - Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills - Rogers Centre: Toronto
     NFL: October 3, 2010 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 1, 2009 - Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: August 15, 2009 - Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills
NFL: October 19, 2008 - San Diego Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: December 9, 2007 - Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL: November 4, 2007 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
     NFL:  November 26, 2006 - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills

     NHL: March 12, 2010 - Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres
     NHL: Buffalo Sabres, HSBC Arena - General Information

City of Buffalo Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist Boat Tour
Anchor Bar - Originator of the Buffalo Chicken Wing

Local Foods:
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Kimmelweck "Beef on Weck"
LaNova White Pizza

What They're Drinkin':
Labatt's Blue, Molson Canadian, Yeungling

Tailgating Hotspots:
Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson's Tailgate Party
Recreational Vehicle Lot

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Buffalo
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map

Local Sports Media:
The Buffalo News
Popular Bar Districts:
Chippewa Street (SoHo, Papaya, Pure, Omega Lounge, Bayou)
Elmwood Avenue (Mister Goodbar, Coles, Sahara Grill, JP Bullfeathers)
Delaware Avenue (Nektar, Toro, Fahertys, The Thirsty Buffalo, Snooty Fox,
Hertel Avenue (Fiamma, Shadow Lounge)

Best Restaurants:
Anchor Bar  (Originator of the Buffalo Chicken Wing)
Pearl Street Grill
Buffalo Chophouse (Steak)
Tandoori (Indian Cuisine)
Kentucky Gregs (BBQ)
800 Maple (Brick Oven Pizza, Martinis)
Papaya and Seabar  (Sushi)
Northend Trattoria, Romeo and Juliet's (Italian Cuisine)

Getting to the Stadium:
To get to Ralph Wilson Stadium, you're going to need to drive to Orchard Park, NY, which is a suburb of Buffalo.  Public transportation is not an option here.

Where to Stay:
I would suggest staying in a hotel in downtown Buffalo to take advantage of the nightlife.  The best hotel is definitely the Hyatt Downtown, located a stone's throw from the Chippewa Street bar district.  the Hampton Inn downtown and Adam's Mark are also good options.

Planning Your Next Trip to see the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Buffalo Bills tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

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Click for Forecast for 14214 from
OktoBILLSfest - First Beer of the Day   OktoBILLSfest - Spaten Oktoberfest Banner   OktoBILLSfest - Pinto Ron and Captain Buffalo
Four AM is a good time for a Beer!   Spaten Oktoberfest Banner   Pinto Kenny and Captain Buffalo
OktoBILLSfest - Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fieldhouse   OktoBILLSfest - Fowling in the Lot   OktoBILLSfest - The Newkirks: Janna, Sheri, Justin
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Field House   Fowling in the Lot , Go Bills!   The Newkirks - Janna, Sheri, Justin
OktoBILLSfest - Fantasy Football Trophy Der Gral von Graf   OktoBILLSfest - Transitioning the Trophy   OktoBILLSfest - The New Champion
Awesome FF Trophy -   Transitioning the Trophy   The New Champion is Crowned
OktoBILLSfest - Lederhosen Trachten Two-Piece Socks   OktoBILLSfest - Fowling on the Blacktop   OktoBILLSfest - Lederhosen Fowling
Lederhosen Fowling on Game Day   Throwing the Long Ball ...   Ball Game! Commissioner WINS!
OktoBILLSfest - Cheryl Jones   OktoBILLSfest - Captain Buffalo   OktoBILLSfest - Tailgating Hall of Fame, The Chefs
Cheryl Jones from Ontario   Where would you rather be?   Tailgating Hall of Fame - The Chefs
OktoBILLSfest - Pinto Kenny and the Tailgate Crew   OktoBILLSfest - Joanie and Susan   OktoBILLSfest - Jacob Gauda
Pinto Kenny and the Tailgate Crew   Joanie and Susan - Go Bills!   My Man Jacob Gauda - Go Bills!
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
Ralph Wilson Stadium, including the following:
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
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