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Bills vs. Browns game moved to Detroit due to historic snowstorm predictions

With feet of snow in the forecast, the Bills and Browns will play at a neutral site—Ford Field in Detroit

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

For the second time in their history, the Buffalo Bills will play a regular-season home game at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. On Thursday, Tim Graham of The Athletic broke the news on Twitter that the Bills’ Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns is being moved to the home of the Detroit Lions due to a massive snowstorm expected to hit Orchard Park, NY in the coming days.

The game will remain at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, per Albert Breer. The team confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon.

“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 at 1 p.m. ET, the NFL announced today,” wrote the team in a press release. “The decision to move the game from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY was done in consultation with the Buffalo Bills and local and state authorities as the region prepares for the storm.”

The worst part of the multi-day storm is expected to hit on Friday, with 2-3 inches of snow per hour falling in some lake-effect bands, including near Highmark Stadium, the home of the Bills. By game time Sunday, the falling snow is expected to weaken, but what has already fallen could still impact the on-field product—in addition to altering travel schedules before and after the contest. The total snowfall from the storm is expected to be two to four feet, and potentially even more in some areas. Especially if local response units are busy clearing out actual residents, removing the stress of a Bills game on those emergency services is probably prudent.

It was November 2014 the last time a Bills game was moved due to winter weather. Buffalo beat the New York Jets, 38-3, on a Monday evening. This time, the game can’t be moved back a day, because Buffalo is already playing in Detroit on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day opener. For that 2014 game, tickets at Ford Field were free, and ticket-holders from then-named Ralph Wilson Stadium were reimbursed for their seats and given preferential seating in Detroit if they could make the trip. Bills players were picked up at their homes on snowmobiles to get to the team bus and make it out of their neighborhoods.

We’re still waiting on word for tickets, when and how the Bills will travel, and a whole lot more, but at least we know when and where we will see this weekend’s game. The team could now choose to stay in Michigan for the entire week as they prep for their game Thursday afternoon.