NFL makes final decision on site of Tampa Bay-Kansas City game after Hurricane Ian
Amid the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the NFL decided on Thursday to keep Sunday night’s showcase matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
League executive vice president Jeff Miller said on Wednesday that the NFL had chosen U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as a contingency site for the game if it couldn’t be played in Tampa. The Vikings are playing the New Orleans Saints in London this week, which made their stadium available as a fallback.
The Buccaneers released a statement Thursday on the NFL’s decision and those impacted in the region by the hurricane:
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the many thousands in the Southwest Florida region who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. We are also very thankful that the Tampa Bay area was spared the most damaging consequences of this powerful storm. We have informed the NFL, after consulting with local and state agencies, that we are ready to play Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium as originally scheduled.
“We would like to thank all of the local government agencies and the thousands of emergency personnel who worked tirelessly over the past few days to ensure that our area would be ready to respond if needed. We would also like to acknowledge the Miami Dolphins organization for their assistance and hospitality in allowing us to use their practice facilities this week.
“We also want to express our sincere appreciation to the first responders and emergency personnel who are already battling the elements, saving lives and helping our neighbors in those most impacted areas to our south.
“We will have additional information soon on ways we can join together to support our community and those most impacted by the storm.”