Restaurants and bars in New York will be able to open their doors earlier than normal this weekend as the Buffalo Bills head to London for the NFL’s second international game of the season.
Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on social media Tuesday that businesses in the state will still be able to apply for a special permit that allows them to serve alcohol as early as 8 a.m. on Sunday in honor of the Bills-Jaguars game.
“With the @BuffaloBills playing across the pond on Sunday morning, I know fans will be gathering for the big game & may fancy a pint,” she said in the post on X.
“I’m directing the State Liquor Authority to extend the deadline for special permits, so sports bars & restaurants can serve as early as 8am.”
New York state law normally permits the sale of alcohol on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 4 a.m., but Sunday’s game is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET.
The Jags and Bills will face off this weekend at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in what will be Jacksonville’s second back-to-back game in the U.K. The Jaguars defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-7, last week.
“As an AFC game, it’s a big one,” Trevor Lawrence said during a press conference Wednesday. “This is a big game, an AFC matchup, a team that’s playing really good football right now who’s been one of the top teams in the AFC for the past few years.”
The Bills will be making their first trip to London since 2015. They’ll land Friday morning and will have their final practice of the week later that day.
“Once we get there, [we’ll] try and stay up through the day and try and get acclimated to a little bit of it [time zone] as much as you can,” head coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday via the team website.
“There’s been a number of people working behind the scenes on this since we got word that this was going to happen. And it’s a great opportunity.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.