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Bills fumble after stadium loses power

   A day after the Buffalo Bills left their fans giddy with a big win against San Diego, some customers still had a beef Monday about the lack of safety measures during several power failures during the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

   There was a lack of emergency lights in the bathrooms and concourses; urine overflowed in some of the men's room and some gates were closed for quite a while before the game because ticket scanners weren't working.

   Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said it could have been worse. He called the lack of electricity a wake-up call, and added, "We were lucky it happened when it did. Had it been a night game, I think the loss of power would have been much worse."

   Top Bills officials, who remained huddled much of Monday, had more questions than answers as they vowed to conduct a full stress test on their emergency back-up system.

   They said they had backup generators, but they didn't work the public address system, the lights, the field scoreboards or the broadcasting feeds out of the stadium.

   Some vendors, however, were still able to sell beer.

   "It is funny how the Bills are constantly writing us season ticket holders about how we have to be cooperative to have a "safer' post 9-11 experience," Dave Shapiro of Amherst wrote in an e-mail to The Buffalo News.

   "But the Bills," he added, "seem to be best at enforcing regulations barring outside water bottles or cocoa thermoses from the stadium (which coincidentally increases their revenue), while putting no effort into having measures in place to deal with something as minor as a power outage."

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