Full capacity allowed at Bills games, Taste of Buffalo, Buffalo Marathon
The New York State Department of Health said Tuesday's lifting of state COVID-19 restrictions means upcoming Buffalo Bills home games at Highmark Stadium will be able to include its full capacity of fans in attendance.
The Health Department said the Orchard Park facility is considered an outdoor venue and, as such, can operate at 100% capacity, although masks remain required for unvaccinated individuals pursuant to Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The DOH also stated that indoor event venues with a capacity greater than 5,000 must continue to follow the State's guidance until more New Yorkers are vaccinated.
Taste of Buffalo officials also said July 10-11 festival will no longer be divided into separate timed sessions and admission will be free.
Customers who already purchased $20 admission tickets at Tops can receive a full refund at any Tops supermarket customer service desk through July 11. They can also take their vouchers to the festival and redeem them for $25 worth of food tickets at the ticket tents at any time.
Patrons will be able to purchase food and beverage tickets with cash, MasterCard or Visa at one of two ticket tents that will be set up.
The 38th Taste of Buffalo is the nation's largest two-day food festival and will include 26 restaurants, food trucks and wineries, plus other participating sponsors in the city's Niagara Square and along Delaware Avenue up to West Huron Street.
The upcoming Buffalo Marathon, planned for June 27, is also returning to normal. It will be the first large road race in the state to resume full operation.
In a release, organizers said the event will have a single start rather than planned staggered group starts, while spectators will again be allowed at the start and finish lines. A field of about 3,000 is expected this year, which is less than half of the usual 8,000 runners.
Last year's 20th anniversary run of the Buffalo Marathon was canceled by the pandemic and this year's was postponed from May into June due to an earlier COVID surge.