4 Ways the Buffalo Bills Improved Crowd Flow at Stadium

Ralph Wilson Stadium

For those of you who don’t know, LineLogic is based out of Buffalo, NY. You’re more likely to know about our beloved, sometimes seemingly cursed NFL team, the Buffalo Bills. We love the Bills in Buffalo. And regardless of their record, we almost always fill each of the 73,647 seats in our stadium located in the beautiful Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, NY.

That’s a lot of people. And it’s a lot of people approaching a small number of gates during a short timespan leading up to kick off.

Ralph Wilson Stadium When Empty

So I’m on my way to work last Friday, and I’m listening to WGR 550, the Radio Home of the Bills, and I heard the morning guys talking with Marc Honan, the Bills’ Chief Marketing Officer. He said that despite some slight crowd backups at one particular gate, they had over 90% of fans in the game before kick off; a record for the stadium.

Ralph Wilson Stadium Packed with People

And it’s not just Bills insiders talking about their queueing improvements. Fans have been talking about it as well. It’s a general consensus around Buffalo that the games are easier to enter this year. So, how did they do it? Marc Honan talked about four specific strategies.

  1. They’ve reconstructed the gates to make the lines much more intuitive for fans to follow. They’ve also added video monitors at two gates, and plan to install them at every gate by November. This helps staff monitor the lines and communicate with other staff members, security, and fans accordingly.
  2. Secondly, they’re developing the Buffalo Bills smartphone app to cater more to the waiting experience. Honan mentioned the likelihood of banner alerts in the future that will tell fans which gates are crowded, stalled, or moving quickly.
  3. They’re using a much simpler, yet equally effective method, by employing staff as “spotters.” These employees stand at different gates, communicating with other spotters about levels of traffic. If one gate is over-crowded and there’s another closeby with considerably less traffic, the spotters will suggest another line. It’s simple, but incredibly effective.
  4. You can’t get everyone into the game on time if people leave their own private tailgates too late. So the Bills are incentivizing fans to come into the stadium early. For instance, they’ve added live music after you enter two of the gates right by the newly renovated Bills Store. This gives people a reason to come in early, which means less traffic closer to kick off, and a more evenly distributed flow of peoples.

As you can see, none of these strategies are entirely complicated or expensive, and the response from fans has been great. I think any NFL organization can learn something from this.

If you’re interested in hearing the interview with Marc Honan, you can watch the video below and click through to the 32:00 mark.

If you have any questions about queueing strategies and equipment for your stadium or arena, give us a call at 844.202.5910. And Go Bills!