Buccaneers will host game in Tampa this week after Irma

There will be football in Tampa this weekend, and the Buccaneers will finally get to start a season delayed by Hurricane Irma's wrath. Across the state, the home of the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami Hurricanes was declared safe following the storm.

Dolphins' stadium deemed safe for NFL, college games

Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will officially begin their season this weekend after Hurricane Irma delayed their Week 1 game. (Stephen B. Morton, File/The Associated Press)

Amid the misery in Florida caused by Hurricane Irma, the state still has places to play.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday they will host the Chicago Bears as scheduled Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Across the state, the home of the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami Hurricanes was declared safe after structural engineers found no damage related to Irma.

The Bucs' game will be their season opener.

"Hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days," Buccaneers CEO Brian Ford said. The Bucs' game last Sunday at Miami was postponed until November 19 because of the storm.

Dolphins' home declared safe

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens was determined to be safe for pro and college games, Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said. 

The Hurricanes are scheduled to play the next game there September 23 against Toledo; the Dolphins' first game at the stadium will be October 8.

Engineers inspected the stadium canopy that was part of a recent $500 million US renovation and found no issues, despite fears of a tornado in the area spawned by Irma.

The Dolphins' practice complex has also been declared safe and will be available when the team returns from this week's stay in California for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Garfinkel said.


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