Cuomo had previously said he wanted to attend the game, and even opened up the stadium to a limited number of fans so he could be there.
But after thousands of Bills fans called on team leaders to ban Cuomo from the game, Cuomo changed his mind.
“I’ll be here working on the State of the State [address], which is a labor of love,” Cuomo said during a briefing, adding that he intends to give his ticket to an Erie County Medical Center nurse.
The New York state Department of Health has agreed to allow 6,772 fans attend the playoff game, which is about 9% of the stadium’s capacity.
Each fan must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of game day.
“I’m going to take my test, I’m going to be out there to watch the game with you, and we look forward to it,” Cuomo said after announcing the requirements.
However, shortly thereafter several fans created a Change.org petition calling on Cuomo to step aside and allow other New Yorkers to attend.
“If he thinks he has more right to a seat in that stadium over people who have waited over 20 years for this opportunity, then people better be there to protest his entry,” the petition reads. “This is OUR team! This is OUR home. We don’t want you here.”
Since @NYGovCuomo doesn’t like anyone criticizing him for his decision to allow over 6,700 fans (who have extra $ for tests and tracing) go to @BuffaloBills game, allow me to continue the criticism and say it’s a ridiculous idea and a slap in the face to those who are suffering.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 31, 2020
By Wednesday, more than 40,000 people had signed the petition.
A handful of commenters chimed in that the game-ban was not enough.
“Cuomo is a narcissistic asshole who needs to be removed from office!” wrote Gina Chellino–Silsby.