A gigantic storm system is rapidly approaching the northeastern region of the United States. Forecasts call for snowfall to reach anywhere from three to six feet, hitting Buffalo over the next several days. Forecasters warn of the potential for “thundersnow,” which could move the Browns-Bills game from Buffalo.
“Major to extreme impacts” are expected to be felt in the region, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. They also advise against travel and driving in these conditions.
However, the Buffalo Bills are scheduled to host the Cleveland Browns this weekend. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, but officials are having to monitor the situation going forward.
Since the approaching storm has such great magnitude, the NFL is even considering move the game to a different time and/or location.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the league is “monitoring” the storm. They are currently in contact with both the Browns and the Bills, as well as local Buffalo authorities.
The league may make a decision to move the game to a different location as late as Friday.
Current forecasts project between two-to-four inches of snow falling per hour in the Buffalo area from Thursday night through Friday night.
However, this wouldn’t be the first or last time an NFL game has been relocated because of inclement weather.
During the 2010 season, a significant December snowstorm in Minnesota caused the roof atop the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to collapse.
Browns-Bills Wouldn’t Be First Game Moved Due to Inclement Weather
The roof collapse forced the NFL to change the schedule for the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. The league had already moved the game to Monday night because of warnings from local and stadium officials. However, the dome collapsed Sunday morning, and then the league moved the game to Ford Field in Detroit. The Vikings and Giants still played Monday night.
The Vikings played one more home game scheduled that season. They played in December against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Later that month, a Philadelphia snowstorm caused a Sunday night matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Vikings to get moved to Tuesday. Consequently, the Eagles clinched the NFC East title that Sunday from their couches as the Green Bay Packers defeated the New York Giants.
However, the most recent NFL game moved due to snow was—not surprisingly—a Bills’ game. During the 2014 season, a snowstorm forced the league to move the Bills’ game against the New York Jets to Detroit.
League officials, when the game was moved, announced the switch out of concern for public safety. “As mentioned earlier today, public safety resources in western New York must be fully available to deal with the recovery from the storm. We continue our discussions with the team and the Red Cross on ways the NFL can support the community through this weather disaster.”
Detroit seems to be a terrific option this weekend, considering the Lions travel to take on the Giants. Moreover, the Bills coincidentally play in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.