The NFL relocated the Buffalo Bills’ home game Sunday because of the prospect of a massive snowstorm hitting the area.
Forecasts are calling for three to six feet of snow in parts of western New York.
The game will be played at 1 p.m. Eastern time, as originally scheduled, and televised by CBS.
Due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution in light of the ongoing weather emergency in western New York, Sunday's game against the Browns will be moved to Ford Field in Detroit.— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) November 17, 2022
More info: https://t.co/wXQXAZAR39 pic.twitter.com/0RwqGgi4OJ
“The decision to move the game from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., was done in consultation with the Buffalo Bills and local and state authorities as the region prepares for the storm,” the NFL wrote in its announcement.
Ford Field was available because the Detroit Lions play a road game Sunday. They face the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.
Where the lake effect is the most intense and persistent, snow will be measured in feet, not inches. Travel within these bands will be extremely dangerous, if not impossible. This will especially be the case across the Buffalo Metro Friday and Friday night. pic.twitter.com/49mLsqLX6T— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) November 16, 2022
The Bills could spend the week in Detroit, where they are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving against the Lions.
The NFL did not contemplate keeping the Bills-Browns game in the Buffalo area and postponing it until Monday, a person familiar with the discussions said earlier Thursday. That would have required pushing back the Bills-Lions game until Friday, which the league seemed unwilling to do. The Lions traditionally host a Thanksgiving Day game.
The NFL has said it will play a game on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which Amazon will carry on Prime Video, beginning next season. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) But that won’t happen this season, even with the weather issues in Buffalo.
This is the second time this season the league contemplated relocating a game because of severe weather. As Hurricane Ian threatened Florida, the league said it would play the Buccaneers-Chiefs game Oct. 2 in Minneapolis if it could not be played in Tampa.
But the Buccaneers announced three days before the game that it would be played as scheduled in Tampa, at the behest of local officials. The hurricane devastated parts of Florida and left millions without power. But the effects in the Tampa area were not as severe as originally feared.