Sunday's Bills- Jets game has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Monday night at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Buffalo Bills had hoped to play the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, but the NFL decided to reschedule and relocate the game due to public safety concerns.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora emphasized that public safety resources in western New York must be fully available to deal with the recovery from the storm.
Signora stated he greatly appreciates the hospitality of the Detroit Lions in hosting the Bills and this game, which will be televised by CBS in the New York and Buffalo area markets.
While Ford Field could have hosted the game on Sunday, in order to give the Bills as much practice time as possible under the circumstances, the decision to play on Monday night was made.
The Lions' practice facility will be available to the Bills on Friday and moving the game to Monday night will enable the Bills to practice on Friday and Saturday and have their walk-through on Sunday. The Bills have been unable to practice this week in Buffalo.
Details on tickets and other game day information for Monday night will be announced at a later date.
On Wednesday, the team announced it would pay $10 per hour plus game tickets to snow shovelers who help clear out the 220,000 tons of snow filling Ralph Wilson Stadium.
That plan was largely criticized. Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said though everyone would love to see a Bills game, public safety comes first. At this point, he says with the driving bans, stranded vehicles and ongoing snow removal efforts, making it possible for the Bills to play the Jets would be “impractical.”
“If you ask me today, right now, my two cents would be it’s impractical to do the game because it would jeopardize public safety. Maybe we get a break somewhere along the way, we get a break from the weather, the snow, the rain, and if there’s any way we could scramble to get it done, we’ll do everything we can do deploy resources to make it possible,” Cuomo said. “But now we’re focused on public safety.”
The NFL agreed and Thursday afternoon a spokesman issued a statement saying, "Due to public safety concerns in light of the ongoing weather emergency in Western New York, Sunday’s Jets-Bills game will not be played in Buffalo."
"We are in the process of rescheduling and relocating the game as part of Week 12. We will provide additional information as soon as possible."
On Wednesday, the Bills said the team will spare no expense to ready the Ralph for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Vice President of Operations Andy Major said, “We can’t have too many people helping. We won’t be turning anyone away. Removing snow and having snow fall at the same time, we’ll go 24/7, triple shifts to be ready.”
But County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county could not commit to having the sheriff’s office at the game, which is the main police agency at the game.
“At this moment, I cannot commit to having emergency service personnel and the sheriff’s office on Sunday. Maybe things will change on Saturday, but we’re also expecting flooding on Sunday so as of right now, as much as I’d like to, we have an emergency situation and we cannot commit,” Poloncarz said.