The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at 8:15 PM at Raymond James Stadium in Florida. However, it seems likely that the game will be relocated due to Hurricane Ian.
The state of Florida will be hit by Hurricane Ian today and this will cause major damage, especially around Tampa Bay. It seems illogical for the NFL to allow the Buccaneers and Chiefs to play there, and there are rumblings that the game could be moved. The current speculation is that it will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota at U.S. Bank Field, home to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings are set to face the New Orleans Saints in London early Sunday morning, so their stadium is free. It seems like the NFL is leaning towards having the Buccaneers and Chiefs play there instead.
It's rare for a game to be relocated or rescheduled, but it’s happened before. The last time a game got relocated was when the New Orleans Saints hosted the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. This was during Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. When COVID-19 first hit the country with big outbreaks, many games were reschuled due to many players being out due to the virus. The Buccaneers game is following the precedents set previously by the NFL in relocating.
Hurricane Ian: Latest on heavy storm in Florida and why the Buccaneers game has to be moved
Hurricanes are categorized in ascending order. A category 1 hurricane has very dangerous winds that will cause some damage. Hurricane Ian recently got bumped up to category 4 and is close to being considered a category 5. The effects of category 5 hurricanes are defined by the National Hurricane Center as:
"Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months."
Clearly, the Buccaneers currently cannot play football in Tampa Bay. According to the National Hurricane Center, time is running out for residents in the affected areas to evacuate as the southwestern Peninsula is about to get hit. The damage caused by the Hurricane is expected to be catastrophic and the entire state of Florida could be affected. Officials have already warned residents to evacuate as they're reaching the point of no return for those who haven't fled the area.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged people in the area to stay safe, as things are only going to get worse. Here's what he said:
“If you are in any of those counties it is no longer possible to safely evacuate. It’s time to hunker down and prepare for the storm. Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly. So please hunker down.”
The storm is coming and people down south have to be careful about the decisions they make over the next couple of days. Hurricane Ian could be one of the worst catastrophic events in American history. Hopefully, the worst doesn't happen and the storm dissipates.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit The Associated Press and H/T Sportskeeda.