The NFL announced on Thursday that Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills has been moved from Buffalo to Detroit’s Ford Field due to a snowstorm scheduled to hit Western New York.
Kickoff remains scheduled for 1 pm ET.
“Due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution in light of the ongoing weather emergency in western New York, Sunday’s Cleveland Browns-Buffalo Bills game will be moved to Ford Field in Detroit,” the league said in a statement on Thursday . “The decision to move the game from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY was made in consultation with the Buffalo Bills and local and state authorities as the region prepares for the storm.”
Beginning Thursday night and through Saturday, the Buffalo area is expected to be hit with a lake-effect snowstorm that could drop upwards of four feet of snow, The Weather Channel projected Thursday morning. “Major to extreme impacts” are expected to be felt in the region, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, which advises against traveling and driving in the predicted conditions.
Ticket holders for the Browns-Bills game received emails Thursday regarding refunds. Tickets for the game in Detroit are set to go on sale Friday, with Bills season-ticket holders receiving priority, Bills team executive vice president Ron Raccuia said, per Syracuse.com.
The Bills will fly out to Detroit on Saturday afternoon, general manager Brandon Beane said Thursday. The team now will have back-to-back games in Detroit (they play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day), but Beane told Reporters the Bills are planning to return to Buffalo after Sunday’s game.
The last time a game was moved out of Buffalo due to weather was in 2014, when a Week 12 game between the Jets and Bills was moved from Sunday afternoon at then-Ralph Wilson Stadium to Monday night at Ford Field. Buffalo won, 38-3. The NFL made the decision on Thursday of that week to move the game after multiple days and feet of snow.