In preparation for a major winter storm, the NFL has officially moved the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns to Detroit as the area braces for a winter storm with lake effect snow that is expected to hit western New York over the next couple of days.
The game will remain scheduled for 1 pm EST on Sunday.
The Buffalo area is expected to get up to five feet of snow from Thursday night through Saturday night, with thunder and other inclement conditions also expected, per reports. Wind gusts are also expected to make travel that much more challenging.
The Bills said that the league’s decision to move the game from Highmark Stadium was done “in consultation with the Buffalo Bills and local and state authorities as the region prepares for the storm.”
“The decision to move the game to Detroit has everything to do about safety,” Bills executive vice president and chief operating officer Ron Raccuia said. “Safety first has been what we’ve been talking about here, really for the last 48 to 72 hours.”
“[Coach] Sean [McDermott] does a great job of messaging and making sure our guys understand it’s still going to be a football game,” Beane said. “Everything else is the same. It’s a short flight. We’re going to try to keep it as routine as possible. Is it a little disruption? Yes. But I think our guys are pros. They understand it.”
“We are hoping for this to be still a home-field advantage away,” Beane said. “Luckily, it’s not across the country. We know Bills Mafia is all over, and hopefully those that are in Michigan area will definitely come, and hopefully the ones here that want to get out of the snow will drive over there.”