UPDATED with latest: As Category 4 Hurricane Ian pummeled Fort Myers just 90 miles south, NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneers officials announced a contingency plan today for the team’s high profile Sunday night home game against the the Kansas City Chiefs.
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was identified by the league’s executive vice president Jeff Milleras as the contingency site for the matchup, according to multiple reports. The Vikings’ stadium is available because that team is in London for a face-off with the New Orleans Saints.
Officials are reportedly doing their best to keep the game in Tampa, but if the game is moved, it will stay on Sunday night. That’s surely a relief to broadcast partner NBC, which is looking forward to the primetime matchup between two of the best quarterbacks in the league, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
On Monday, Brady and the Bucs moved their game prep to the Miami Dolphins’ Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens to avoid the storm’s impacts.
PREVIOUSLY on September 26: With the National Hurricane Center predicting a “near worst-case scenario” when Hurricane Ian is forecast to slam ashore in Tampa Bay Thursday, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have decided to decamp to Miami to for their scheduled home game this weekend against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The marquee matchup is set to be held at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium and broadcast on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET.Hurricane Ian storm path NOAA
The Bucs announced they will make use of the Miami Dolphins’ Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Florida starting Wednesday since the Dolphins “would be finished with their on-field preparations by Wednesday morning” and headed to Cincinnati to face the Bengals this weekend.
Per a team statement just issued, “As of Monday afternoon, there have been no changes to the plans for Tampa Bay’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymonds James Stadium on Sunday night, with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. The NFL, in consultation with team and local officials, will continue to monitor the situation.”
With Hurricane Ian potentially hitting the Bay area this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made contingency plans for this week’s preparations for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The team will depart Tampa on Tuesday and relocate their football operations to Miami-Dade County. The Buccaneers are expected to practice at the Miami Dolphins’ Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, Florida, starting on Wednesday, through the end of Week 4 preparations, if necessary. The Dolphins play at Cincinnati in Week Four and would be finished with their on-field preparations by Wednesday morning.
As of Monday afternoon, there have been no changes to the plans for Tampa Bay’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymonds James Stadium on Sunday night, with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. The NFL, in consultation with team and local officials, will continue to monitor the situation.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 26, 2022
Ian is expected to be a major hurricane shortly before it arrives in Tampa Bay, with winds nearing 100 mph. The slow-moving storm is forecast to dump heavy rain on the region, with its counter-clockwise circulation piling up water and creating an extended 5-10 foot storm surge both at the beach and inside the bay.Hurricane Ian peak storm surge NOAA
A Hurricane Warning has been issued by the NWS for the region on Monday evening, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Area schools have closed ahead of the storm and the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport will do likewise Tuesday report ABC News and the Times. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for parts of three local counties.