Massive snowstorm in U.S. disrupting sports schedules
NHL, NBA among leagues making adjustments
A blizzard menacing the Eastern United States disrupted the sports schedule Friday, complicating team travel and blanketing the field where Sunday's NFC championship game will be played with a wintry mix.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, crews scrambled to keep up with the storm, clearing snow and sleet from the tarp covering the Bank of America Stadium field. The Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals there in the NFC championship game on Sunday night.
Fans from afar who planned to make the trip were forced to scramble, too. Delta was among a handful of airlines that canceled all flights to and from Charlotte on Friday because of the storm. The forecast for the game was calling for clear skies, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-20s.
Two NBA games and one in the NHL were postponed, as were several college basketball games and NASCAR's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The NBA said Boston's game at Philadelphia scheduled for Saturday night will be made up on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The Utah Jazz's game at Washington, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, will be reset at a later date.
The NHL initially shifted the starting time of Friday's game between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim, moving it up two hours to 5 p.m. The league then postponed it on Friday but did not yet have a makeup date. A decision regarding Sunday's game between the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins and Capitals will be announced Saturday morning.
Up to two feet of snow was predicted from what the National Weather Service was calling a "potentially crippling winter storm." A state of emergency was declared in Pennsylvania for Saturday. The storm was expected to drop 12 to 18 inches of snow and create possible blizzard conditions beginning Friday evening.
NASCAR called off Friday night's ceremony in Charlotte honoring Terry Labonte, Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner until Saturday afternoon.
"OK it's finally snowing," NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted "I was the dummy who didn't get the extra bread. Waiting out my repercussion."
The men's basketball game between No. 16 Providence and No. 4 Villanova slated for Saturday at Wells Fargo Center was postponed until Sunday at 1 p.m. The Saint Joseph's men's basketball game at La Salle also was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday.
The Atlantic Coast Conference said Thursday the Syracuse-Virginia game scheduled for noon Saturday would be played at 7 p.m. Sunday. The Cavaliers' visit to Wake Forest, originally set for Monday at 9 p.m., was pushed back to Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt, which postponed its athletic Hall of Fame dinner scheduled for Friday night to honor an induction class that includes Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, also took no chances on travel for Saturday's SEC men's basketball matchup at No. 23 Kentucky. The Commodores left Nashville on Thursday evening for the 4 1/2-hour trip to Lexington.
The NHL's Philadelphia Flyers announced a special Snowstorm Savings on tickets to the team's next two home games, against the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. The more snow Philadelphia gets, the deeper the discount.