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Modified: April 13, 2021 9:28pm
Created: April 13, 2021 9:28pm

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April 14, 2021

Mr. Roger Goodell
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Commissioner Goodell,

I am writing you not only in my capacity as the Erie County Comptroller, but as an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills and a concerned taxpayer.  My counterpart in government, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, is trying to enact a dictatorial type of scheme forcing fans to be fully vaccinated and sign up for a New York State “Excelsior Pass” proving a vaccination to attend a Buffalo Bills game next season.

“You have no Constitutional right to attend a Buffalo Bills football game.”

Source: Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, COVID press briefing, April 13th, 2021

This misguided politician cares more about controlling behavior than keeping people safe and protected inside the newly named Highmark Stadium.  Implementing this bizarre requirement will hurt the National Football League, the Buffalo Bills, and your fan base.  It is bad for business and it is an example of irresponsible public policy by press conference.  My concerns include but not limited to:

  • Is this policy forcing fans to get vaccinated to attend an NFL game legal or constitutional?
  • The Buffalo Bills organization worked hard building a fan base in Canada and states outside of New York.  How will these fans enter the stadium without an Erie County/New York State vaccination card or Excelsior pass?
  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has stated he is undecided on receiving a COVID vaccination. It is my understanding the NFL is not making player vaccination mandatory. What happens if this vaccine requirement is taken a step further to include players and coaches?
  • How can a forced vaccination policy like this potentially hurt attendance, ticket sales, parking revenue and concession stand revenue?

Banning the entry of unvaccinated people from the Highmark Stadium may be a slippery slope.  Erie County could easily decide that players, coaches, or other essential personnel may be “not worthy” of stepping inside of the stadium because of being unvaccinated. 

I urge you to review this policy on how it could harm the Buffalo Bills, your diehard fan base, and the NFL.  It could backfire badly and drag your league and the Bills into unnecessary litigation.  It could also drive away season ticket holders who may never return to watch a National Football League game in person.

Best Regards from a die-hard Bills fan,


Erie County Comptroller

For a PDF of the letter, please CLICK HERE