A ferocious blizzard in the Buffalo area during the week has forced the National Football League to shift tomorrow’s game between the Bills and New York Jets to Monday night in Michigan.
The Bills are to host the Jets on Monday at Detroit’s Ford Field.
The league said on Thursday that public safety concerns over the ongoing weather emergency in northeastern US states led to the change.
“Public safety resources in western New York must be fully available to deal with the recovery from the storm,” the NFL said. “We continue our discussions with the team and the Red Cross on ways the NFL can support the community through this weather disaster.”
The league said Ford Field was available tomorrow, but the game was pushed back a day to allow the Bills time to practice. Buffalo have been unable to work out all week because of the winter storm, which dumped at least 183cm of snow in the area.
The Bills would be able to use the Lions’ practice facility starting yesterday as long as they could get there.
Another storm was expected to dump an additional 61cm of snow on the area through yesterday, prompting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to say it was “impractical” to think about having the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park because it would jeopardize public safety.
“Everybody would love to see a Bills game go forward, but, I think even more, everybody wants to make sure public safety comes first,” he said.
It won’t be the first time Ford Field has been used by the league for a postponed contest.
It hosted a 2010 game between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings after the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsed under heavy snow.
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