The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have the location of their Week 4 game on “Sunday Night Football” impacted by Hurricane Ian.
The teams are currently scheduled to play in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, but that location could be changed. With Hurricane Ian on a collision course with the western coast of Florida, it’s possible that the damage from the storm could for the NFL to change the location of the game. The league is currently working through its contingency plans for the game.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers are evacuating their home facility to travel to Miami for the practice week. Miami is far enough out of the way that it won’t be threatened by Hurricane Ian. Could that be the place the NFL opts to move the game should the storm have an impact? Probably not.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports that the NFL is considering a neutral site in the midwest should the league have to move the game. Darlington says the league doesn’t want to use Florida state resources to host a game. One option mentioned by Darlington was the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings and Saints are playing a game in London (not New Orleans) in Week 4, making the stadium available for a game.
As a result, if the game is moved, it is likely the Bucs and Chiefs would play at a neutral site in the Midwest — such as Minneapolis. (the Vikings play in New Orleans on Sunday). Those plans remain fluid given the unknown path of the storm.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 26, 2022
Why would the league opt for Minneapolis and not at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, which would be open and available this weekend? It likely has something to do with a competitive advantage gained by Kansas City.
We’ll see if anything comes of this situation in the coming days. Severe weather is still expected to begin late Tuesday night and persist through Friday. The Tampa Bay area is expected to have major flooding, storm surge and damaging winds.
🗣️ WRAP UP YOUR #HurricaneIan PREPARATIONS!
☔️ Widespread flooding rainfall
🌬️ Hurricane/TS conditions possible
🌊 Life-threatening Storm Surge
🌪️ Tornadoes possible in rainbands
— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) September 27, 2022