It’s been a mostly positive two years for the Buffalo Bills. After the franchise was sold last season, excitement and ticket demand were at highs not seen since the early 90’s in upstate New York. Following a 9-7 season and the hire of Rex Ryan as head coach, the excitement is still growing. On Monday the Bills announced they have sold over 57,500 season tickets for the 2015 season, setting a franchise record.
The previous season ticket record set for Buffalo was 57,132 in 1992. Going into that season, the Bills were coming off back-to-back appearances in the Super Bowl, though both losses. Buffalo would get back to the Super Bowl in both 1992 and 1993, but neither of those trips ended with a Lombardi Trophy either. That was the last dominant stretch for the franchise, one that has struggled with postseason and regular season success in the subsequent years. The Bills have not won a playoff game since the 1995 season and have not made the playoffs in any capacity since 1999. Since 2000 Buffalo has only seen two seasons with a winning record, 2004 and 2014, both at 9-7.
Bills president Russ Brandon had positive things to say about the future of the franchise on Monday. Said Brandon, "First and foremost, it goes to our fans and it goes to our ownership, the Pegulas, who obviously provided stability for this franchise in western New York. As I said at the time of the sale, the collective anvil that had been on the back of all of our shoulders, we were able to put that in Lake Erie, and that played a huge role in today's announcement."
With little to be excited about over the past 15 seasons, Bills fans are making the most of what could be the best time for the franchise in over a decade. The team announced it will cap season ticket sales at 60,000 this season, leaving just under 12,000 seats open for other ways of purchasing in the 71,857 capacity Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Demand hasn’t just been high on the primary market. The Bills are setting franchise highs on the secondary market as well. The current average price for Bills tickets on the secondary market is $145.62 across eight regular season home games. That is the most expensive average price TicketIQ has tracked on the secondary market for the Bills since 2010. 2014 previously held the most expensive average at $139.18, but 2015 is currently $4.6% more expensive. Back in 2010, the Bills were one of four teams with a season average below $100 on the secondary market along with the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.
While the Bills hope to be contenders in the AFC this year, the most expensive game will not come against a division rival. It will instead come against the New York Giants in Week 4. The game currently has an average price of $207.32, 42.4% above the season average, with a get-in price of $87. It is one of two Bills home games with an average price above $200, along with the Week 1 season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.