Over the past several weeks, I have been researching the newer stadiums’ history and features across the NFL. Trying to see what a potential new stadium for the Buffalo Bills may look like and what cool and unique features it could have. However, I’ve come to the end of my research. I’ve looked through every stadium over the past decade, which seems likely to be similar to a new Bills stadium. This article will lay out everything I’ve learned and give my final prediction of what a new Bills Stadium could look be.
If the Bills decide to go the route of an indoor stadium, the biggest trend I picked up on is large windows that can open. I know this sounds silly and simple, but let me explain what I mean. Many indoor stadiums have massive lanai windows around or on top of the stadium that can open on nice days. However, even when closed, these windows give the stadium an outdoor feel, allowing a large amount of natural light to come in. Many stadiums have incorporated this into their design including, AT&T Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, and Lucas Oil Stadium, to name a few.
Another trend that I believe could be in a potential new Bills stadium could be adding interactive activities for fans at the stadium. Some of the newest stadiums in the NFL have team museums, virtual-reality games, and restaurants that show off some of the local cuisines. It’s all about making the fans’ game-day experience as fun and fulfilling as possible. To what extend would the Bills add this to a new stadium? I can’t say for sure, but there will be interactive activities for fans at the stadium without question.
One thing that will be interesting to see if the Bills incorporate this into their stadium is using renewable and green energy. A few stadiums have found ways to make their stadiums more eco-friendly, whether they were built using recycled materials or having solar panels to power the stadium. This hasn’t reached the point of being a trend quite yet in the NFL, but with more people concerned with climate change and being more green, this could very well be a possibility.
Now, I recognize that many Bills fans don’t like these kinds of things and want to watch the game (I feel the same way). We don’t go to the games to eat nice food and look at a museum. We are there to tailgate and then watch our Buffalo Bills, no matter the weather. However, that’s what the NFL is trying to address. We die-hard fans will tailgate and show up to the games no matter where the Bills play and what the stadium is, and the league and its owners know that.
The NFL wants to make the game-day experience better for the average football fan. The average fans don’t want to put up with bad food, small bathrooms, and poor weather. The more people want to go to Bills games, the more money is in the Pegulas and the NFL pockets. Plain and simple. If having all of these bells and whistles leads to more profit, then you have to assume that is the direction they’ll go in.
Of course, the recent announcement that the Bills are talking with the state and county about the best move with the stadium in the future if they should renovate Highmark Stadium or build a new one. This could change some of the research and ideas I’ve found, but some of the things I discussed could still be implemented even for a renovation.
At the end of the day, regardless of what happens to the Bills stadium in the future, we learn to love it. Change is scary, especially when you’ve had the same home since 1973, but eventually, the Bills will have to move on from “The Ralph,” and although it will be a sad day, many teams have already done this in the past, and their fans bases seem to be doing just. So until we know for certain what the Bills stadium’s future is, let’s enjoy “The Ralph” while we still have it.