The Buffalo Bills were born in 1959 under the ownership of Ralph C. Wilson Jr. The Bills have won two American Football League Championships in 1964 and 1965 and four American Football Conference Championships in 1990, 91, 92 and 1993. They have appeared in four Super Bowls and won ten Eastern Division Championships.
We want fans to relive the most memorable moments in Buffalo Bills history, such as Mike Stratton’s “Hit Heard ’Round the World” in the 1964 AFL Championship Game, the team’s incredible comeback win against the Houston Oilers in 1993 and their spirited championship runs in the 1960’s and 1990’s.
The exhibits of The Buffalo Entertainment and Sports Experience will feature a timeline covering all 50+ seasons of Buffalo Bills football, as well as sections committed to Ralph Wilson’s ownership, team management, coaches, players, stadiums, seasons, and the fans. It will be highly interactive, as guests will be able to hang out in a simulated locker room, call their own sportscasts in a broadcast booth, and, test their Bills knowledge in an electronic trivia kiosk.
Hundreds of Bills artifacts will be on display, including seats from War Memorial Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium; game programs dating back to the first regular season game in 1960; fan memorabilia ranging from bobble-heads to Flutie Flakes; and game-worn items like, the only blue and silver jersey known to exist from the 1960 and 1961 seasons plus jerseys from Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, O.J. Simpson, Joe Cribbs, Joe Ferguson, Darryl Talley and Joe DeLamielleure and many more. Also, even a game jacket worn by Head Coach Marv Levy.
The museum will be experiential and we will bring the average fan closer to the real-life experience of the players themselves. Imagine walking through the tunnel at “the Ralph” to experience “Game Day” and feel the exhilaration of the players and the deafening crowd noise as you are introduced to the 70,000 screaming fans. Then run onto the field as the crowd roars!
Enjoy the Bills’ “On the Field” Experience. Join the huddle with Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and Kent Hull and the rest of the K Gun crew as Kelly calls the play. Or get set at the line of scrimmage as Jim barks out signals. With the snap of the ball, you fire out to block a Dolphins defensive lineman as Kelly scrambles into the end zone for the winning score in the Bills 1989 victory in Miami. Then prepare to boot the winning field goal in the same rainy, cold conditions that Scott Norwood faced on that fall day in 1988 when his kick vaulted the Bills into their first Eastern Division Championship in 21 years.
Walk into the “Bills Locker Room,” with jerseys hanging in the lockers from such Bills greats as Jack Kemp, Billy Shaw, O.J. Simpson, Tom Sestak, Joe Ferguson, Joe Cribbs, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith. See how their equipment has evolved over the past 50 years. Relive the locker room celebration that followed the Bills 41-38 overtime win over Houston for the Greatest Comeback in NFL History. You are there, experiencing this great moment with Frank Reich, Andre Reed and Steve Christie. You then stroll out of the locker room and watch as Steve Christie, Frank Reich and Marv Levy address the media and talk of their unrivaled accomplishment.
Take a walk down memory lane as you walk through each decade of Bills history, highlighted by wonderful artifacts, rare photos, audio and video highlights punctuated by great moments and memories from each season in team history.
We expect to bring the Bills to life for fans through exhibits like these.
The Buffalo Bisons joined the All American Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946, changed their name to the Buffalo Bills in 1947 and ceased operations in 1950 when they were refused admission into the National Football League. The AAFC disbanded after the 1950 season, with only three of its members being admitted to the NFL.
The Bills made the playoffs twice and played in the Championship game versus the Cleveland Browns in 1948, only to lose 49-7.
George Ratterman was the star quarterback for the team.
The Buffalo Indians played professional football in the American Football League in 1940 and 1941. The team did not fair well as they were 2-8 in 1940, changed their name to the Tigers in 1941 and finished with a 2-6 record. They played their games at Civic Stadium. The team ceased operations when the U.S. entered World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The Buffalo All-Americans were an original member of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920. The APFA changed its name to the National Football League in 1922, thus Buffalo had an original franchise in the NFL. The All-Americans played from 1920–1923, changed their name to the Buffalo Bisons for the 1924, 1925, 1927 and 1929 seasons. They played as the Buffalo Rangers in 1926 and did not participate in the league in 1928.
The Buffalo All-Americans were one of the leagues best teams in the early 1920’s. The All-Americans team during this period is considered one of the best professional teams to have never won an NFL championship. Even though they didn’t win a championship, the 1921 championship is very disputable and is featured in a book, “Buffalo’s Forgotten Champions: The Story of Buffalo’s First Professional Football Team and the Lost 1921 Title”. The book outlines how the championship was taken away from the All-Americans through league politics.
The All-Americans star players included Tommy Hughitt, who was player-coach, Ockie Anderson, Pete Calac and Jim Ailinger. After Hughitt retired in 1924, the team struggled throughout the rest of the franchises history.
The team posted winning records through 1923, however, there performance began to slide after that and faced many financial challenges, until they ceased operations in 1929.
The Buffalo Entertainment and Sports Experience will bring to life the significance of this original NFL franchise and the world of professional football in the fledgling years of the 1920’s.