Stadium #1
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, NY
Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills Stadium
August 15, 2009
27 - 20 Win
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See my other visits to
Ralph Wilson Stadium:

NYJvsBUF-Oct.3,2010
HOUvsBUF-Nov.1,2009
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: $6.50
Hot Dog: $3.00
Stadium Parking: $25.00       
Ralph Wilson
Stadium Address

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127
(716) 312-0409  
Get Directions 
 
 
Stadium Review
- "Tailgate Warriors" with Guy Fieri

The weekend of August 16, 2009 was my birthday weekend; and what better way to celebrate the date of one's birth, than with loved ones tailgating at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. I was actually invited by Jay the Tailgate Guy and his lovely wife Karen to join them in the their latest venture, a new TV series pilot called "Tailgate Warriors". Tailgate Warriors will be hosted by Guy Fieri and will follow Guy around the national football league as he pits two tailgating teams, representing the NFL organizations taking the field on gameday, to match wits in a tailgating battle of gameday cuisine preparation. Our own Jay DiEugenio is featured as one of the judges.

So after work on Friday, Crystal, Annabella, and I boarded the new Quest Machine bound for Buffalo. After a five hour road trip in our H3, we arrived at my parents house and crashed. Sleeping through the alarm the next morning, I roused the fam, rushed around to get ready, and within 15 minutes we were out the door to meet up with the tailgaters at "The Ralph". We arrived at 6:40am to be on the set and ready to go. By 7:30am Guy Fieri's Crew was already setting up. Lights, Cameras, and cords were strewn about the tailgate area, with the hum of diesel gensets at the ready to create the necessary power to support the day's activities. Guy arrived soon afterwards and the inaugural episode of "Tailgate Warriors" began shooting. Conklin's Tailgate Bar and Grill (CBNG) represented my hometown Buffalo Bills, while the folks from Da Bus, our tailgating hosts in Chicago for Stadium #25, represented the visiting Bears. Filming took the entire day, lasting right up until game time, and even now I'm not even sure who won.  The producers decided that two endings would be filmed with each team being pronounced the winner ... I guess the idea is to keep us in suspense and build a buzz among potential viewers. It appeared that our boy Timmy from Da Bus, did an admirable job representing the City of Chicago as did our hometown CBNG boys. For the final tally, we'll just have to tune in to "Tailgate Warriors" on the Food Network.

While Guy was filming his new pilot, I set out to do what I do best, I performed my typical Quest for 31 duties as the official blacktop culinary sampler (a self-appointed title). All the major players within the western New York tailgating community were invited to showcase their wares, so there was quite a bit of sampling to be done. I began my parking lot tour with the fine folks at Coffin Corner. Apart from providing a plethora of food choices throughout the day, including everything from the typical to the exotic, I found their Mouthful Sandwich to be the most interesting. The Mouthful is a complete meal packed into a single mouthwatering sandwich, which is best appreciated by large bites featuring the double-handed grab ... for it is, as advertised, a mouthful. Between two pieces of hard roll, the Coffin Corner folks have packed in a blueberry pancake, some homemade western New York syrup, two slices of bacon, a piece of pepper jack cheese, one sausage patty, a couple fried eggs, and some hot sauce to accentuate the compilation. I will certainly be returning for another one of these coronary creations. Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson was also setup, doling out 16-pound shots and cooking on the hood of the 1983 Ford Pinto that has been a fixture at Bills games for as long as I can remember. Drew Cerza, the "Wing King", who's a native Buffalonian and founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival was also on hand cooking up his famous wings and providing samples for anyone who happened on by. One of the tastier treats I sampled on gameday was a homemade pizza featuring blue cheese and sliced red grapes, a most interesting taste combination. There were parking lot pig roasts, homemade pizzas, and any manner of raw meat put to flame. For the swelteringly hot August day we had, the citizens of Tailgate Central, put on an impressive exhibition in the gameday culinary arts that should have more than pleased our visitors from the Food Network.

As for the game, my Hometown Buffalo Bills showed some progress. The offense looked better and the defense was more than formidable, however the special teams looked awful. Hopefully with a couple more preseason games to go, they can get some of these lingering deficiencies ironed out. Making my way around Ralph Wilson stadium, I was also struck by a couple of evident observations. Number One, the Buffalo Bills have clearly placed an emphasis on stadium security and fan behavior this year. As you know, last year I was fairly critical of the atmosphere at "The Ralph". This year I noticed an increased security presence within the stadium. Security Guards that actually looked like off-duty cops scanned the crowd throughout the game and remained active in all the goings on within their section. Last year they looked like over-stuffed cream-puffs who were trying to catch a free game and avoid getting in anyone's way. I also noticed that the number for the Gameday Fan Hotline to report poor fan behavior was prominently displayed throughout the Stadium. Number Two, the concessions were particularly putrid this year. Now I'm willing to chalk it up to the fact that it is the first game of the year, but I bought two pretzels and two pops from the concession stand in my section.  The pretzels were soggy and the pops were watered down with a heavy chlorine taste, like all the ice had melted. It was an embarrassment ... but like I said, I'll reserve judgment for the regular season. Well, that's all for now. Let's kick off the Quest!


For more information on the city of Buffalo, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
    
NFL: November 7, 2010 - Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills - Rogers Centre: Toronto
     NFL: October 10, 2010 - New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

     NFL: November 1, 2009 - Houston Texans 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
WGR 550AM
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,
         Stillwater)
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.
 
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Wilson Stadium from
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near Ralph Wilson Stadium
2008 Buffalo Bills "Face Value"
Ticket Prices
 
$77.00
Lower Level Sidelines I
$66.00
Lower Level Sidelines II
Upper Level Center Rows 1-20
$58.00
Lower Level Corners, Upper Level End Rows 1-20
$50.00
Tunnel End Zone,
Upper Level Center Rows 21-38
$48.00
Lower Level Scoreboard End Zone, Club Level Corners
$45.00
Upper Level Corner Rows 21-38
$36.00
"The Rock Pile Section", Club Level Scoreboard End Zone
$38.00
Club Level Family Corner




              Buffalo Bills
         2010 NFL Schedule


1 Sunday, 12-Sep MIA @ BUF 1:00 PM
2 Sunday, 19-Sep BUF @ GB 1:00 PM
3 Sunday, 26-Sep BUF @ NE 1:00 PM
4 Sunday, 3-Oct NYJ @ BUF 1:00 PM
5 Sunday, 10-Oct JAC @ BUF 1:00 PM
6 Bye
7 Sunday, 24-Oct BUF @ BAL 1:00 PM
8 Sunday, 31-Oct BUF @ KC 1:00 PM
9 Sunday, 7-Nov CHI @ BUF* 1:00 PM
10 Sunday, 14-Nov DET @ BUF 1:00 PM
11 Sunday, 21-Nov BUF @ CIN 1:00 PM
12 Sunday, 28-Nov PIT @ BUF 1:00 PM
13 Sunday, 5-Dec BUF @ MIN 1:00 PM
14 Sunday, 12-Dec CLE @ BUF 1:00 PM
15 Sunday, 19-Dec BUF @ MIA 1:00 PM
16 Sunday, 26-Dec NE @ BUF 1:00 PM
17 Sunday, 2-Jan BUF @ NYJ 1:00 PM

               NFL Football Stadiums


 


Ralph Wilson Stadium Extras

Gameday Experience - click here for info
Place: Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse
Start time: 3 1/2 hours prior to kick-off
End time: Kick-off
Cost: Free!
Gameday Experience Activities: pee wee football zone (two games played at 10:00am and 11:30am), interactive games (kick, catch, throw, fair catch
and run), vendor areas, display areas (How do you measure up to the pros?), 97 Rock pregame show, and concessions.


Great Fan Forums
Post your thoughts on the Buffalo Bills here:
Buffalo Range.com
The Stadium Wall.com

 

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Ralph Wilson Stadium:

 
 

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Click for Forecast for 14214 from weatherUSA.net
On set and ready for shooting   The Quest Machine in Buffalo   Adam Goldstein, The Tailgate Knight
         
   
The folks form Illegal Motion make ready   A Charlie Brown Christmas at Pinto Ron's   Da Bus at Ralph Wilson Stadium
         
   
Coffin Corner and their Coronary Creation   The Mouthful - 'nuff said.   My mom & Anna sample "The Mouthful"
         
   
Quest for 31 on the table   Joe Cahn, our esteemed commissioner   Jimmy, Grace, Kenny, Mike, and myself
         
   
Crystal and I hangin' out   Some of western New York's finest   Myself, Enrique, Ernie, and Trey
         
   
Famous Questers - Adam, Peter, and Andrew   Ready for some football   Annabella and I watching the Bills
         
     
COMMENTS?
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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