The NFL’s two games in Florida this weekend will be played as scheduled, even after the impact that Hurricane Irma had on the state.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host 1 p.m. games Sunday.
Mark Lamping, the team president of the Jaguars, and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Tuesday that Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans will be played at EverBank Field.
“It’s so important on so many different levels that we show the world on Sunday that Jacksonville is open for business,” Lamping said, according to the Jaguars’ website.
The Jaguars returned to Jacksonville on Tuesday after spending Monday in Houston following their game there Sunday. Jaguars officials assessed their facilities and spoke to local officials before the decision was made.
Earlier Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced that their game against the Chicago Bears will be played in Tampa as scheduled.
“We have been working tirelessly with the Tampa Sports Authority, as well as the NFL league office, to ensure that Raymond James Stadium would be available to host our season opener against the Chicago Bears this Sunday,” Brian Ford, the team’s chief operating officer, said in a written statement. “Hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days. We look forward to providing our fans and the entire region an opportunity to come together this Sunday to kick off our 2017 season.”
The NFL and other sports organizations have been dealing with scheduling issues related to the effects of Hurricane Irma on cities throughout Florida. This weekend’s game will be the season opener for the Buccaneers after their game at Miami last Sunday was postponed and rescheduled for Nov. 19, which was to be a bye week for both teams.
The schedule reshuffling is creating some competitive issues. The Dolphins and Buccaneers will play 16 straight weeks following their unplanned Week 1 bye. The Dolphins, in an attempt to ease their travel burden a bit, inquired with the league about the possibility of moving their Oct. 1 game against the New Orleans Saints from London to Miami. They were told that is “not possible,” according to a person familiar with the deliberations, confirming a Miami Herald report.
The Dolphins are on the road this weekend, playing Sunday in Los Angeles against the Chargers.