NFL

Buffalo snow forces relocation of Bills-Jets game to Detroit

A severe lake-effect snowstorm hitting the Buffalo region has prompted the NFL to reschedule and relocate the Bills home game against the New York Jets on Sunday. The game will remain part of the week 12 schedule and will be played at Detroit's Ford Field on Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.

NFL announces Monday night game at Ford Field

Buffalo snow will force relocation of Bills-Jets game

8 years ago
Duration 0:12
Playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium 'impractical,' says governor

A severe lake-effect snowstorm hitting the Buffalo region has prompted the NFL to reschedule and relocate the Bills home game against the New York Jets on Sunday.The game will remain part of the week 12 schedule and will be played Monday night, Nov.24 at Detroit's Ford Field at 7 p.m. The Lions play Sunday in Foxborough against the Patriots.

Another Buffalo pro team has already had an upcoming game cancelled. The NHL announced Thursday they have postponed the Buffalo Sabres' home game against the New York Rangers on Friday night due to the storm.

The Bills can't even hold practices because their players are snowed in, and those that can get out can't get to the team's facility because of a driving ban in place in Orchard Park and many of its neighbouring communities.

As a result, the Bills cancelled practice for a second straight day on Thursday.

The Bills (5-5), who last practised on Monday, are already coming off an extended break. They had last weekend off following a 22-9 loss at Miami on Nov. 13. The Jets (2-8) are coming out of their bye week, and haven't played since a 20-13 win against Pittsburgh on Nov. 9.

Governor thinks it's a bad idea

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo said It would be "impractical" for the Buffalo Bills to host the New York Jets on Sunday because of the snowstorm that continues to hit the region.

Cuomo spoke after spending the past day touring communities south of Buffalo, including the Bills home in Orchard Park. The storm has dumped more than five feet of snow since Monday night, with another one to two feet projected to fall by Friday.

"If you ask me today, right now, my sense is it's impractical to do the game because it would jeopardize public safety," Cuomo said. "Everybody would love to see a Bills game go forward, but I think even more, everybody wants to make sure public safety comes first."

On Wednesday, Bills Vice President of Operations Andy Major wasn't sure whether there was enough time to clear the stadium and grounds of the estimated 220,000 tons of snow by Sunday. Now even a Nov. 30 home date against Cleveland is in doubt.

Many roads are impassible and a driving ban remains in place in many of the communities south and east of downtown Buffalo.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also cast doubt on whether the game could be played on time. Poloncarz said the county's emergency services are already stretched thin in dealing with the storm that he can't commit to them staffing the game Sunday.

The county is responsible for providing sheriff deputies for security at Bills home games.

Starting guard Kraig Urbik is among the Bills players who are snowed in.

"Any chance my street gets plowed today," Urbik posted on his Twitter account Thursday morning. "Or are we stuck here till Saturday?"

Though rare, changing the date or location of a game has happened before in the NFL.

The most notable switch occurred in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina damaged the Superdome.  The hurricane forced the New Orleans Saints to split their season playing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and San Antonio, Texas. In 2010, the Minnesota Vikings were forced to play their home game against the New York Giants a day later in Detroit after the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's roof tore open.

The last time the schedule was changed occurred at Philadelphia in late December of 2010. That's when the Eagles' home game against Minnesota on Dec. 26 was pushed back two days as a safety precaution because a storm was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in Philadelphia.

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