Stadium #1
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Orchard Park, NY
Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Billsillsills
Buffalo Bills Stadium
September 15, 2013
23 - 24 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
- OktoBILLSfest

2013 marked the 18th Annual Weekend Family Retreat for the Steinigers and Doblers. So for the Week 2, we found ourselves reconvening in the RV Parking Lot outside Ralph Wilson Stadium for another weekend of food, folks, and NFL football.

Attempting to raise the bar for each year’s family tailgate has become a unique challenge, but this year it was a challenge we embraced as we decided to continue our themed tailgate tradition from last year by establishing the first annual OktoBILLSfest Tailgate!

OktoBILLSfest TailgatingAs soon as the theme was announced, like all great tailgating themes, accessorizing became a key objective to pulling this whole thing off. I went straight to to pickup Bavarian tablecloths, German flags, and these incredible German brimmed hats. I also went to the local flea market to pick up some genuine German beer steins, because drinking out of a Red Solo Cup during OktoBILLSfest is like forcing a Sicilian to eat homemade pasta with ketchup squirted all over it … it’s just not right. The final accent for our OktoBILLSfest would be to assemble a compilation of Bavarian Oompah Music complete with accordions, clarinets and plenty of brass to accent that throaty German tongue …. Oh, and song lyrics! What good is it to play Bavarian Music if we can’t sing along … and sing along we did, my friends. The only thing I was missing was genuine lederhosen (a note for next year’s OktoBILLSfest - must buy lederhosen!)

We got into the RV Lot right at eight o’clock in the morning and setup was completed by nine. By that time, our traditional local beer tasting was well underway as growler tops popped off left and right in order to keep my pewter-capped beer stein full of product throughout the day. We spent most of the rest of the day Fowling on the brand new red, white, and blue fowling lanes I had built over the summer; and grabbing random onlookers to join us in another round of singing the traditional Hofbruahaus song, "Die Hofbräuhaus-Lied". Being the only non-German speaker of the bunch, I had practiced the rolling and gurgling of my native tongue during the 4.5 hour drive from Detroit by playing it on the CD player line by line and trying to mimic what it was I thought it was I heard. In the end it worked out quite well, as I fancy myself a world-class crooner once I’ve had a few vials of that delicious liquid courage pumped into my system (my grandmother however, might vehemently disagree). Perhaps that’s why it’s only AFTER I’ve downed a few beers that my vocal stylings really seem to kick into high gear.

Kenny Pinto Ron Johnson and on the Quest for 31For gameday, we hung out with Kenny “Pinto Ron” Johnson in the Hammer lot with our special guests, the fellas from from Carolina. Coach Dano, Joe the Cedar Street Seer, James, Tracy and Brian have always been tremendous hosts when I hang out at the Pantherfanz Party Prowler to rub elbows with the finest tailgaters that Bank of America Stadium has to offer.  So it was nice to be able to return the NFL good will and show these guys how we do what we do in Buffalo. Over the course of the morning, we tackled bowling ball shots, Pinto-prepared tailgate food and that iconic ketchup opening ceremony together, washing it all down with some choice imported German beers. I even roped those guys into singing in German with me as we anxiously awaited for gametime to begin.

Steiniger OktoBILLSfest at Ralph Wilson StadiumKickoff arrived before we knew it and I was excited by the prospect of these new-look Bills and their anointed quarterback of the future, EJ Manual. With budding young stars on both sides of the ball and bolstered by another solid draft class, the 2013 edition of my Buffalo Bills looks to have finally turned the corner. The game was a back and forth chess match as Mike Pettine’s attacking defense went to work on Cam Newton, while EJ Manuel and the Bills offense worked out the kinks of Nathaniel Hackett’s hurry-up attack. The boys and I, still reeling from all those imported German beers, broke out into song throughout the game, cheering and chanting in German to celebrate defensive stops, touchdowns and field goals.

With time in the fourth quarter winding down and an interception and fumble by EJ Manuel on consecutive possessions leading to six Carolina points, it was up to EJ to orchestrate a last minute rally. So with 1:38 remaining in the game and the ball on the 20-year line, EJ Manuel went right to work, methodically leading the Bills offense on a final touchdown drive to take the lead before time expired. The game's winning touchdown with two seconds remaining on the clock was scored on a great throw by EJ Manuel to Stevie Johnson. We were seated in that endzone for the final score and I watched, as if in slow motion, as the ball arched into the outstretched hands of a wide open Stevie Johnson. The euphoria of finally seeing the Bills win for our Family Retreat was absolutely incredible. I can’t wait till next year. Bills WIN 24-23.

For more information on the city of Buffalo, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: October 19, 2014 - Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills
     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
18th Annual Steiniger Family Tailgate Fowling in Buffalo, NY - 
18th Annual Family Weekend Retreat   Fowling in the RV Parking Lot   Prepping for the Kill Shot
German Flags Flying - Quest for 31   Quest for 31 coins out    Tailgating Hall of Fame Challenge Coins 
German Flags to mark OctoBILLSfest   Quest for 31 Coins out!   Tailgating Hall of Fame Coins
 in Buffalo - Quest for 31    Captain Buffalo and Questfor31    Steinigers ready for some football in Buffalo   Captain Buffalo on the Quest for 31   Steinigers Ready for Some Football!
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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