BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills' wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, scheduled for Sunday, has been moved to Monday amid a forecast of dangerous winter weather, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Saturday.
Hochul and other officials said they were making the changes for safety. “We want our bills to pass, but we don't want 60,000 to 70,000 people traveling to a football game in terrible conditions,” the Erie County executive said. Marc Polancarz said at a news conference in suburban Buffalo.
Officials advised residents to stay off the roads starting Saturday night, with a driving ban coming into effect at 9 p.m. The match will now be played at Highmark Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on Monday instead of 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Hochul said he began talking with the NFL Thursday about the possibility of rescheduling the game. From his hometown of Buffalo, he ended his news conference by saying, “Go, Bills.”
The NFL and the Bills released a statement citing “public safety concerns” as the reason for pushing the game back a day.
The forecast for the Buffalo area calls for heavy snow and wind gusts of 65 mph (105 kph) Saturday, with 1 to 2 feet or more of snow eventually accumulating. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning until 7 a.m. Monday, saying “travel will be extremely difficult and impossible at times,” with the combination of snow and very strong winds causing near-zero visibility.
The bulk of the storm was expected to be concentrated in a narrow band of lake-effect snow covering the southern suburbs of Buffalo, which includes the Bills' home in Orchard Park.
The Steelers have pushed back their travel plans and will now travel to Buffalo on Sunday.
The Bills are familiar with weather-related schedule changes. In 2022, a lake effect storm moved Buffalo's home game against Cleveland to Detroit in November. A month later, a major snowstorm delayed the Bills' journey home, forcing them to stay overnight in Chicago on Christmas Eve.
Peltz reported from New York City. AP sports writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.
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