Bills add text messaging to gameday hotline

The Buffalo Bills announced Thursday they have implemented a new web based text messaging system called GuestAssist, to provide fans the ability to text message the team's Guest Services department for game related issues during home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium (RWS). GuestAssist will be operational beginning with the Bills vs. Jets game on Sunday, November 2, 2008.

For the first time, fans are able to text the team with important and/or emergency information on the day of the game that will help alleviate guest service related issues. To report an issue, fans may text "BILLS"

, followed by their location and issue to 78247. Once the text message is received from Guest Services, the appropriate staff will be alerted to respond. Calling the team's fan hotline number 716.312.8933 and asking stadium/team personnel for assistance will continue to be an option for fans.

Six years ago the Bills began the Verizon Wireless text alert system that provides the team with the ability to contact fans via a team text message containing important and/or emergency team information. Verizon Wireless text alert subscribers have since grown to over 10,000 since the program began in 2002. The growth in cell phone technology and increase in text messaging by fans was a factor in implementing GuestAssist.

The implementation of the text message option is also partially based on feedback from fans that had difficulties leaving their seats to report issues. In addition, some fans had issues with crowd noise when making cell phone calls to the team's fan hotline number from the seating bowl. The text message option allows fans to discreetly contact stadium guest services for assistance.

"We continue to look for ways to improve fan safety as well as fan convenience," said Chris Clark, director of security for the Buffalo Bills. "Text messaging will provide fans another avenue to communicate and it will allow us to quickly address any concerns or questions they may have."

The text messaging option for fans to report an issue on the day of the game is another element the Bills have put in place for the 2008 season as part of the NFL's Fan Code of Conduct program. Other elements supporting the Fan Code of Conduct and team's "Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Considerate" guest services message include an increased focus and presence from the Bills security and police assigned to work the games, additional stadium signage, scoreboard announcements and public address announcements. Also, guest service messages from the Bills remind fans to have fun but be responsible, watch out for each other and report incidents to any nearest stadium personnel.

Now, to report an issue to the team, fans can also simply text message "BILLS"

Location and Issue to 78247.

For more information regarding Verizon Wireless Mobile iNzone where fans can sign up for Bills text alerts and buy ringtones please visit

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