A group of Buffalo Bills fans plan to celebrate team owner Ralph Wilson’s life with a tailgate party this weekend.
The Bills Mafia fan club, also known as the Buffalo Fam Base, is setting up an event that will take place in the privately owned Hammers Lot at 4170 Abbot Road in Orchard Park. The lot is right down the street from Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The ‘Memorial Tailgate for Mr. Wilson' will take place from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday. Tailgate attendees are asked to bring their own food and drink, but the Roaming Buffalo food truck will also be on hand.
Buffalo Fam Base President Del Reid says the tailgate event is a nod to Wilson’s legacy in western New York.
“Fans want to express their love and their thankfulness for Mr. Wilson and the team that he brought to Buffalo. Maybe it will help provide a little bit of closure,” said Reid.
Reid says he will never forget what Wilson has done for the community.
“The stadium that has his name on it, I’ve had some of the most memorable experiences of my life. The parking lot that’s around it with tailgating before and after games, I’ve met people that are probably going to be my friends for the rest of my life. So, it’s really affected me in terms of who I am, what I enjoy, what I like to do, and it’s all because of his team. It’s more of a celebration than anything else,” said Reid.
Reid says he has been appointed to chair the advisory board of the Buffalo Fan Alliance. He says the group is already strategizing ways to keep the Bills in Buffalo. At some point, the team will be sold to the highest bidder.
The tailgate party will cost $10 for parking, with proceeds to be donated to the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. The foundation is named after former Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly’s son, who died at the age of 8 in 2005 after battling Krabbe Disease.