The Steelers-Bills game was nearly moved to Atlanta before the government stepped in to keep the game in Buffalo, according to a report by the Buffalo News. State officials stepped in to get the game moved from Sunday to Monday instead of changing it to a neutral site instead, thus giving the Bills a home game.
A change in location in severe weather conditions is league standard. This would not have been that surprising to see, but with New York Governor Kathy Hochul pushing to keep it in Buffalo, the only way to do it safely was to move the day of the game.
The game will now be played on Monday at 4:30 p.m.
The forecast in the Buffalo area is calling for winds gusting up to 65 mph and sustained winds of 30 mph. There is a potential for up to two feet of lake effect snow in the Orchard Park, New York area.
The heavily falling snow in narrow bands due to high winds coming off Lake Erie will make travel very difficult in unpredictable sections of the area to the south of Buffalo.
“The safety of the fans that attend the game and the staff involved is tantamount,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, who joined Hochul in making the announcement. “I’m very glad that the NFL agreed, as well.”
The Steelers have had a playoff game moved recently due to weather. Their road playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 was moved to a later time on the same day.
The last time the Steelers had a game move days was when their game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2020 was postponed multiple times due to COVID-19 issues on the Ravens. That game ended up being played on Wednesday afternoon.