BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Bills playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium has been moved to 4:30 p.m. Monday due to the significant winter storm forecasted to impact Western New York throughout the weekend. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Near-whiteout conditions are expected in Orchard Park on Sunday, with high winds, frigid wind chills and blowing lake-effect snow all in play. States of Emergency in Western New York as well as Erie County are currently active as a result of the storm.
“It’s all part of our critical efforts to keep New Yorkers, motorists and fans safe from this wildly unpredictable storm,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.
Hochul said that she consulted with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the decision, who “shares our concern that safety should be the top priority.”
“We want our Bills to win, but we don’t want 60 to 70 thousand people traveling to the football game in what is going to be horrible conditions,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “[Law enforcement officials] need to be assisting in the middle of a snowstorm, helping those in need, not directing traffic at a football stadium … This is something we all agreed on.”
This is not the first the Bills have had a game altered due to severe weather. Last regular season, Buffalo had to play a home game against the Cleveland Browns in Detroit due to significant snowfall in Orchard Park. A similar situation unfolded in November 2014, when a game against the New York Jets was also moved to Detroit due to snow.
Mother Nature has also played a role in altering playoff games in the past. A Chiefs vs. Steelers Divisional matchup in 2017 was changed from a 1 p.m. kickoff to 8:20 p.m. due to an ice storm in Kansas City.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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