BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The NFL has relocated the Buffalo Bills home game Sunday to Detroit because of the lake-effect snowstorm forecast to hit the Western New York region this weekend, Nexstar’s WIVB has confirmed.
The Bills will face the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Detroit’s Ford Field, with television coverage remaining on CBS. The Bills said in their official announcement that the decision was made “due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution in light of the ongoing weather emergency.”
The team said details on tickets will be announced shortly.
The National Weather Service has issued a lake-effect storm warning lasting through Saturday morning for southern Erie County, which includes the Bills’ home field in Orchard Park. The storm is projected to bring wind gusts off Lake Erie as high as 35 mph, which will make travel conditions hazardous and lead to potential power outages. Some areas could receive two feet of snow or more.
The Bills had a home game moved because of a snowstorm in November 2014, when they defeated the New York Jets 38-3 in a game played at Detroit’s Ford Field. The game, originally scheduled for Sunday, was also pushed back to Monday to take into account both teams traveling.
Buffalo left for Detroit on the Friday before and spent the weekend practicing at the Lions’ facility. The Bills arranged for snowmobiles to pick up some players who were unable to dig their cars out of the snow in order to get them to the airport.
This time, the NFL would have difficulty pushing back the date of the game because Buffalo is already facing a short week, with the Bills scheduled to play in Detroit on Thanksgiving.
The Browns were scheduled to fly to Buffalo on Saturday afternoon but have travel contingency plans in place.
Back in 2007, the Bills played the Browns during a heavy snowstorm in Cleveland, losing 8-0 and being eliminated from the playoffs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.