Ralph Wilson Stadium - Courtesy: US Presswire
Buffalo, N.Y. - As part of the Bills new lease with the state and Erie County, the state gets use of one 16 seat luxury box per game.
The box is supposed to be used to market the area, and a review of records by 2 On Your Side has found that to be the case.
WEB EXTRA: You can read the list of attendees here.
This past Sunday, among the 73,000 people at the stadium were real estate developers from Toronto, and a writer and editor for a paper in Erie, Pennsylvania who were in the state's box.
And that is fairly typical of how the box has been used for the first three home games this season.
The state turns the use of the box over to Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, or BNE, a private business development and marketing group that promotes the area.
Scott Brown: "I think there was some skepticism early on when people said 'oh a Bills box it's going to be filled with politicians taking their kids every week?'"
Tom Kucharski, BNE CEO: "Right, and we have paid special attention to that."
Kucharski says his group makes a point of keeping politics and politicians out of the box.
Kucharski says Bills game provide an excellent backdrop when trying to sell out of town business people on all Western New York has to offer.
Tom Kucharski, BNE CEO: "It's a place where the community comes together and you see that the spirit and you see a lot of young folks and it dispels a lot of notions. Every place that I've been, we've used that as a piece of bringing people and telling the story of the region."
The box is also used by Visit Buffalo Niagara to host out of town travel writers and pitch them on the area's architecture and art, its history and culture.
And one of those visits has already borne fruit- the Toronto Star ran an article on the area after being hosted in the box for the Carolina Panthers game earlier in the season.
Peter Burakowski, Visit Buffalo Niagara: "So both they got the experience of the game itself which can be woven into their stories, but it also gives me a more in depth chance to talk about what's going on in Buffalo in general."
Any elected official who wants a seat in the box must pay the face value for the ticket which is about $380.