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Assemblyman Sean Ryan calls on Bills to give a pass to season ticket holders for the 2020 season

In letter to team owners Terry & Kim Pegula Ryan says other NFL teams have already taken similar action due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Assemblyman Sean Ryan says with many issues and questions still surrounding the upcoming NFL season, he wants to see the Bills allow season ticket holders a pass on the 2020 season.

In a letter to team owners Terry and Kim Pegula, the lawmaker says other teams around the league, including the New York Giants and New England Patriots, have already taken action as a result of safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ryan says due to age or underlying health conditions, some fans may not be comfortable attending games and should not be penalized for taking precautions to protect their health and safety. He's asking that season ticket holders be allowed to skip this upcoming season while still being able to keep their same seats for 2021.

 “Bills fans are the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and we all look forward to the return of NFL games this fall", said Ryan.  While we don’t yet know what the NFL season will look like, we do know that COVID-19 related restrictions will be in place to protect the health and safety of fans. In the event that fans are allowed to return to New Era Field, it is reasonable and responsible for the Buffalo Bills to allow season ticket holders to skip this season and return to their seats in 2021 after more progress has been made against the virus.”

A copy of the letter appears below:

Dear Mr. Pegula and Ms. Pegula:

I write today regarding the 2020 NFL season and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While New York’s phased reopening is continuing, plans for the 2020 NFL season are still under development as our nation continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As this process moves forward, I urge you to allow Buffalo Bills season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season without penalty.

Our state and our region have made remarkable progress against the virus. We have been in a phased reopening process for over a month and have continued to see a decline in new COVID-19 cases and deaths. Western New York’s positive test rate remains at just 1%. This is encouraging news and makes me hopeful that some form of in-person attendance at New Era Field will resume this fall. While many fans will understandably look forward to attending in-person games this fall, fans who face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, due to age or underlying health conditions, would prefer to skip in-person attendance during the 2020 season. I strongly believe those Buffalo Bills fans should not be penalized for taking precautions to protect their own health and safety.

The Buffalo Bills organization should follow the lead of other NFL teams and allow season ticket holders to skip the 2020 season and still keep their seats for the 2021 season. Other NFL teams have already announced plans to allow fans to skip the 2020 season without penalty. The New York Giants and New England Patriots have said that season ticket holders many skip this season and retain their tickets for 2021. In the event that fans are allowed to return to New Era Field, it is reasonable and responsible for the Buffalo Bills to allow season ticket holders to skip this season and return to their seats in 2021 after more progress has been made against the virus.

As you are aware, Bills fans are the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and we all look forward to the return of NFL games this fall. While we don’t yet know what the NFL season will look like, we do know that COVID-19 related restrictions will be in place to protect the health and safety of fans. I again urge you to take this important step to protect the safety of season ticket holders, and ensure they are held harmless for taking necessary precautions. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Sean M. Ryan

Member of Assembly