ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — For the first time since 2019, the Bills hosted fans at a training camp practice. Bills Mafia was more than ready to show their support.
15,000 packed the stands at Highmark Stadium as they watched the team for the first of three practices open to the public.
This year’s training camp is being held back home in Orchard Park as opposed to St. John Fisher College in Rochester due to COVID restrictions.
Also due to COVID restrictions, players weren’t allowed to interact with fans, but Josh Allen was sure to wave to a few lucky kids who got to interact with QB1.
The team was thrilled to have energy back in the stands after fans were not allowed for any regular season games last season.
“This is what we’re used to. Great to re-engage with them. Wish we could do it more, but hopefully, we’ll see everyone out here about a week from today,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “It’s part of us getting ready for the season. It’s been a year since we’ve had fans. We need them as much as they need us.”
Dane Jackson, the rookie cornerback who only got to see Bills Mafia during the team’s playoff games, loved the atmosphere at practice.
“It’s honestly crazy,” said Jackson. “Yesterday, when they told us there’s going to be 20-thousand. I’m like, ‘for a practice?’ It’s just crazy and you feel the energy. Even walking down the tunnel, people screaming my name. It’s like, I never really had that experience with Bills Mafia. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”
Fans will be able to attend two more practices on Saturday, August 7th, and Wednesday, September 1st. Tickets are free but must be obtained beforehand on the team’s website.