According to Buffalo News, the Buffalo Bills submitted a proposal to build a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium to replace Highmark Stadium.
As development ideas begin, our Upstate New York market research company was interested to hear from Bills Mafia to learn their hopes and dreams for the new venue.
Drive Research surveyed 1,100+ Buffalo residents regarding the new Bills stadium. The key findings included:
- 7 in 10 Buffalo residents agree with the submitted proposal for a new Bills stadium.
- 58% of respondents would like the future Buffalo Bills stadium to be located next to the current stadium in Orchard Park
- Over 1 in 2 Buffalo residents believe the new Bills stadium will be up and running for games by the 2027 NFL season.
- Only 33% of Buffalo Bills fans are satisfied with the decision to not add a roof to the new stadium.
- Bills fans want a mechanized roof, more entrances and exits for cars, and additional bathrooms in the new Buffalo stadium.
- Bocce Club Pizza and Duff’s Famous Wings among top food vendors Bills fans want to see in the future stadium.
- 89% of Buffalo residents are interested in having Buffalo host a future Super Bowl in the new stadium.
Keep reading to learn more insights from the survey conducted by Drive Research. Or, for a quick recap watch the video below.
67% of Buffalo residents “literally cry when the Bills lose a game.”
First and foremost, our market research company wanted to gauge how many Buffalo residents considered themselves fans of the Bills.
It should come as no surprise that 99% of those surveyed were Bills fans – with some more diehard spectators than others.
67% of Buffalo residents reported, “literally crying when the Bills lose a game.”
While there’s no crying in baseball, that rule apparently doesn’t translate to football.
7 in 10 Buffalo residents agree with the submitted proposal for a new Bills stadium.
Last year, the Bills submitted a proposal to build a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium, set to be complete by 2027.
We asked survey respondents to rate their level of agreement to determine how many Western New York residents supported the proposal.
Overall, 7 in 10 Buffalo residents strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the submitted proposal for a new Buffalo Bills stadium (69%).
- 40% of respondents strongly agreed.
- 29% of respondents somewhat agreed.
Only 21% of Buffalo residents strongly disagree or somewhat disagree with the submitted proposal for the future Bills stadium.
58% of respondents would like the future Buffalo Bills stadium to be located next to the current stadium in Orchard Park.
With the Buffalo Bills’ lease at Highmark Stadium set to expire in 2023, it leaves many fans wondering where the future stadium will be located.
The majority of Bills fans don’t want the stadium location to change dramatically. In fact, 58% of respondents reported they hope the future Bills stadium will remain in Orchard Park, next to the current stadium.
Other popular stadium locations included:
- A waterfront location (14%)
- I don’t want the location to change (12%)
- South Park Avenue near downtown (10%)
- University at Buffalo’s North Campus (3%)
- Other (3%)
Over 1 in 2 Buffalo residents believe the new Bills stadium will be up and running for games by the 2027 NFL season.
While the proposal for the new stadium has not yet been approved, it is anticipated that construction on the future Bills stadium will begin in 2024.
If this ends up being the case, many Bills fans are confident that the stadium will be up and running for games by the 2027 NFL season (51%).
Other hopeful respondents could see that happening even sooner, with 33% of Bills fans believing the new stadium will be complete before the 2027 NFL season.
Whereas 16% of Buffalo respondents agreed the stadium won’t be ready for Buffalo Bill football games until sometime after the 2027 NFL season.
Only 33% of Buffalo Bills fans are satisfied with the decision to not add a roof to the new stadium.
In the initial conversations of building a new venue, the idea of adding a retractable roof to the future Bills stadium was tossed around.
It is a polarizing conversation, as some believe no roof is a benefit to the Bills players being that they're more comfortable playing under unpredictable weather conditions.
While others say adding a retractable roof will make it more appealing for fans to attend games all season long. Plus, it could add other event opportunities such as concerts.
In January of 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed for many fans that there won’t be a roof on the new Bills stadium.
Therefore, in our survey, Drive Research asked Buffalo residents to rate their level of satisfaction with this decision.
Here were their answers.
- 28% of Buffalo Bills fans are strongly dissatisfied with the decision for the new stadium to not have a dome.
- 22% of Buffalo Bills fans are somewhat dissatisfied with the decision for the new stadium to not have a dome.
- 17% of Buffalo Bills fans are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the decision for the new stadium to not have a dome.
- 12% of Buffalo Bills fans are somewhat satisfied with the decision for the new stadium to not have a dome.
- 21% of Buffalo Bills fans are strongly satisfied with the decision for the new stadium to not have a dome.
Bills fans want mechanized roof, more entrances and exits for cars, and additional bathrooms in the new Buffalo stadium.
With a new stadium in the works, the world is Buffalo’s oyster. Now is the time to make any type of improvements that will improve fan experience and attendance.
More specifically, there were a few top improvements Buffalo fans would like to see added to the future stadium.
For instance, 61% of respondents reported they’d like a mechanized roof that can open and close.
Additionally, 52% of fans would like more entrances and exits to reduce traffic when driving in and out of a game. And the other top request was more stadium bathrooms (50%).
Other improvements Buffalo residents would like to see added to the new Bills stadium included:
- Better public transportation options such as pick up and drop off zones for buses, Uber, Lyft, etc. (38%)
- More food vendor options (38%)
- Real grass field (35%)
- An in-stadium app to order food, get directions to your seats, watch replays, and more while at the football game (35%)
- Improved seating layout (32%)
- A larger scoreboard (29%)
- More areas for parking (24%)
- Premium seating with extra-wide, double-padded seats and private screens (17%)
- Sportsbook-sponsored betting lounges 8%
Bocce Club Pizza and Duff’s Famous Wings among top food vendors Bills fans want to see in the future stadium.
38% of respondents reported they’d like to see more food vendor options in the future Bills stadium – but what food vendors are the most interested in seeing?
A majority of Buffalo residents agreed Bocce Club Pizza (43%), Duff’s Famous Wings (41%), and Bar-Bill Tavern (41%) were on their bucket list for Buffalo Bills stadium food vendors.
Other top-requested food vendors include:
- Mighty Taco (38%)
- Jim’s Steak Out (37%)
- Southern Tier Brewing Company (33%)
- Anchor Bar (32%)
- Chick-fil-A (31%)
- Big Ditch Brewing Company (26%)
- Lloyd Taco Factory (22%)
- Shake Shack (15%)
- SUBWAY (13%)
- Tully’s (12%)
- McDonald's (9%)
- None of the above (8%)
- Dippin’ Dots (7%)
89% of Buffalo residents are interested in having Buffalo host a future Super Bowl in the new stadium.
In recent years, the NFL has often awarded hosting the Super Bowl to teams or cities that have built brand new stadiums.
For instance, the 2022 Super Bowl was hosted at the SoFi Stadium after being built in 2020.
So, how interested are Bills fans in having Buffalo potentially host a future Super Bowl in the new stadium? Very.
89% of Western NY residents have some type of interest in Buffalo potentially hosting a future Super Bowl in the new stadium.
- 67% of Buffalo fans are very interested.
- 22% of Buffalo fans are somewhat interested.
Additionally, only 11% of Buffalo residents are not at all interested in their town hosting a future Super Bowl game.
Bad weather is the biggest reason Buffalo Bills fans skip home games.
Attending a football game in person is almost always a more memorable experience than watching it from a bar or at home.
Especially with Bills Mafia being crowned the best fan base in the NFL, it makes for quite the outing.
However, there are a few main reasons why people choose to forgo Highmark Stadium and watch Bills games at an alternative location.
According to our survey, 44% of Buffalo residents have not attended a Bills game due to bad weather. A close second is the cost of tickets as a reason people don’t watch the football game in-person (39%).
Other factors that have caused people to not attend a Buffalo Bills game include:
- Miscellaneous costs (parking, food, drinks, etc.) (32%)
- Traffic when entering or leaving the game (30%)
- I’d rather watch the game at a house, restaurant, or bar (19%)
- Parking (15%)
- I don’t feel comfortable attending events with large gatherings (5%)
- I live too far away (5%)
Fans are very excited about new members hired to the Buffalo Bills coaching staff.
In February of 2022, ESPN reported the Bills promoted Ken Dorsey to offensive coordinator. This decision was made after Brian Daboll was hired as the NY Giant’s head coach.
The promotion was met with a lot of satisfaction from Bills fans with 87% reporting they are very excited for Dorsey as the new Offensive Coordinator.
In other coaching news, Joe Brady (former Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator) was announced as the new Quarterback coach for the Bill.
According to our survey, 82% of Buffalo Bills fans are excited for Brady to join the Buffalo Bills coaching staff as he’ll fill in for Dorsey.
58% of Buffalo fans agree Josh Allen is their favorite Bills player.
Buffalo is in a full-blown love affair with quarterback, John Allen.
And as the only player in NFL history with 100 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first four career seasons – we understand why.
Our Upstate New York market research company asked Buffalo who their favorite Bills player was. An overwhelming 58% reported Josh Allen.
Other top favorite Buffalo Bills players included
- 14 Stefon Diggs WR (10%)
- 11 Cole Beasley WR (4%)
- 21 Jordan Poyer FS (3%)
- 88 Dawson Knox TE (3%)
- 13 Gabriel Davis WR (3%)
About the Survey
- The survey received 1,191 responses
- Fieldwork was conducted with adult residents (18 years or older) living in the Buffalo DMA.
- Fieldwork for the survey began on February 10th and lasted united February 24th, 2022.
Respondent Profile (By Gender)
- 58% of respondents were male.
- 41% of respondents were female.
- 1% of respondents were nonbinary.
Respondent Profile (By Age)
- 1% of respondents were Generation Z.
- 13% of respondents were Millennials.
- 25% of respondents were Generation X.
- 58% of respondents were Baby Boomers.
- 3% of respondents were Traditionalists.
Drive Research is a national PR survey company located in Syracuse, New York. Our market research firm works with a variety of organizations, helping deliver insights, action items, and ROI on their survey efforts.
Our research has been featured in top-tier media outlets including USA Today, CNBC, Forbes, Spectrum, Yahoo Finance, and Statista.
To learn more about our market research services, contact our team today.
- Message us on our website
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A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.