Bills fans are passionate, they are devoted, and they will do just about anything to show support for their team. Robert J. Hall, 57 years-old from Oakville, Ontario did just that.
A season ticket holder since the 70's, Hall has made a hobby out of building LEGO replicas. He has crafted the Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, and next on the list was Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Hall is CIO for Speedy Transport by day and a die-hard, motivated Bills fan by night. To show his dedication for the team, he took on the daunting task of constructing a LEGO replica of Ralph Wilson Stadium. The enormous undertaking took over five years to construct.
"My main inspiration was my love for the stadium," said Hall. "I made this in dedication to the Bills, the fans and Mr. Wilson."
How would one go about constructing a 20-foot, 3-foot-deep stadium built entirely out of LEGO toys? Starting a project of this magnitude is not an easy task, and unfortunately there are no directions on how to build a LEGO replica of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"The real difficulty was to get the right colors for whatever you are building," said Hall. "I had a lot of LEGO pieces, but had to buy additional ones from eBay in bulk."
The dedicated Bills fan began the project in January of 2008 and worked at it until completion. He would print hundreds of stadium charts and take photos of different parts of the stadium when he attended home games.
"I would walk through before the game and start taking different pictures of the stadium, different areas," said Hall.
Robert found himself working on the replica mostly on Sundays after away games.
"I would listen to the radio after the game, and I was especially inspired to work on it after a win," said Hall.
Not missing a detail, he continued the project relentlessly. Detailing to the very last piece, Robert never gave up on his replica. The detailing took a tremendous amount of time, as he made sure to get everything in. He printed clear stickers for yard markers, sponsor areas and the Wall of Fame, using the exact font displayed in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
To ensure that the scoreboard was done correctly, Hall fashioned the LEGO pieces in such a manner that his mobile phone could fit perfectly in a slot, creating a fully functional video display.
"The mobile phone scoreboard is the most unique," said Robert. "It took quite a while, and tons of tries to get the phone to fit in the slot."
Thirty thousand LEGO parts or more later, Hall was almost finished with his masterpiece. While putting the last finishing details on the field, the unthinkable happened. His chair collapsed.
"I was leaning over the corner of the stadium where the M&T Bank sign is trying to place a yard marker on the field, and the plastic stool collapsed," said Hall. "I fell right into the corner of the stadium and smashed it to smithereens. It pushed the field 2-3 inches forward and the part of the stadium that overhangs the table fell on the ground. I cried."
Conjuring up memories of some of the great comebacks at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the enthusiastic designer never gave up. Three days later, the stadium was back up and running, and while many would think that Hall's masterpiece is a completed project, he's not done yet.
"I'm working on making the lights to simulate a night game," said Robert. "I have the lights pretty much done. The difficulty is making it bright enough. I'm getting close to where it's bright enough to flood the field."
Throughout the project's ups and downs, Hall displayed the passion and determination of a true Bills fan.
"There's nothing better than a Bills fan and Western New Yorkers," said Robert. "I thought, I could do this, and show all of the other NFL fans what being a Buffalo Bills fan is all about."