The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns will be playing their game Sunday in Detroit, OutKick has confirmed.
The Athletic was first to report the news, citing a league source.
The NFL confirmed the news.
“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 Cleveland Browns-Buffalo Bills game will be moved to Ford Field in Detroit at 1 p.m. ET,” the NFL said in a news release.
“The decision to move the game from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY was done in consultation with the Buffalo Bills and local and state authorities as the region prepares for the storm.”
The Browns will fly to Detroit instead of Buffalo on Saturday. The Bills will also fly to Detroit on Saturday, per general manager Brandon Beane.
Beane added the Bills will return to Western New York after the game on Sunday and then return to Detroit Wednesday because they play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.
The National Weather Service issued a statement Wednesday warning of a prolonged snow event, that could include, “paralyzing snowfall for the Buffalo and Watertown areas.” The event would roll through the are starting Thursday night and could last through the weekend.
Parts of Erie County, where the stadium is located, already received up to 11 inches of snow by Wednesday morning with more expected.
More is expected. A lot more.
Accuweather issued a statement saying so much was headed to the area it would be “enough to bury” Buffalo. The weather service called what is coming “potentially historic.”
There is some irony in all this.
First, the actual snowstorm is expected to be over by Sunday afternoon. There could be lingering snow showers that affect the game but nothing the region has not seen before.
Secondly, the Bills will soon begin construction on a new stadium that will cost approximately $1.4 billion. The new stadium, near the site of the current Highmark Stadium, will not have a roof.
Seems wild right?
But the fact is the issue is not so much with game day. The issue is conducting safe travel for the Browns into Western New York, as well as making sure the game does not pull resources away from the clean-up efforts and emergency responders that are otherwise working the game locally.
Details on tickets and other game day information for Sunday’s game in Detroit will be announced shortly. The Bills will provide information for those fans with tickets to the game originally scheduled for Orchard Park.
The game will be televised on CBS as part of its regularly scheduled broadcast.