NFL

Chiefs-Bucs gets Minnesota contingency amid Hurricane Ian

By Sports Desk September 28, 2022

The NFL is hopeful Sunday's Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game can take place as scheduled at the latter's Raymond James Stadium, but a Hurricane Ian contingency plan is in place.

If the game needs to move for weather-related safety reasons, it will be relocated to the Minnesota Vikings' U.S. Bank Stadium.

NFL executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller told reporters on Wednesday of the league's plan B.

He said the NFL is in contact with local authorities regarding the category four storm, which has made landfall in southwestern Florida with damaging winds reaching 155mph.

The Bucs have already evacuated Tampa, training at the Miami Dolphins' facility while they are in Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Thursday.

"We're going to try to go about business as usual, and it's a little different, but everybody's families are safe, so hopefully we can concentrate," Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles said.

In addition to monitoring the hurricane and any potential flooding or destruction around Raymond James Stadium, the league is taking into consideration whether playing the game in Tampa would exhaust resources that could potentially be needed in disaster relief efforts.

The league has not revealed a deadline as to when a decision would be made for the location of the game, but Miller said it will still be played on Sunday rather than being pushed back.

"Until we know more about the storm, it's going to be difficult to make that decision," Miller said.

This would be the second time in as many seasons the NFL has moved a game due to weather after Hurricane Ida forced the Green Bay Packers-New Orleans Saints 2021 season opener to be moved to Jacksonville.

The Saints are facing the Vikings in London this Sunday, making Minnesota's stadium available.

"We can't control the outside forces," Bowles said. "Our thoughts are with the city of Tampa right now, but where we have to play ... hopefully it is Tampa and everything is fine; that means we're not damaged too much.

"But if we have to go play elsewhere, we just have to focus and lock in. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us, so we've got to be ready to play."

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