Buffalo, NY – January 13, 2024
In response to imminent severe weather conditions, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Saturday the postponement of the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff game, originally scheduled for “Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.”
Governor Hochul, in coordination with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, emergency response teams, and Buffalo Bills leadership, decided to reschedule the highly anticipated matchup. The new game time is set for 4:30 pm on Monday.
The NFL and the Bills jointly released a statement emphasizing that the postponement was a precautionary measure taken in the “best interest of public safety.” Western New York is bracing for a winter storm predicted to unleash heavy snow and high winds, with the potential to create the most treacherous weather conditions since the catastrophic blizzard of the previous year.
Forecasters anticipate the storm’s peak intensity around 6 p.m. on Saturday, with the fiercest conditions expected on Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service in Buffalo issued warnings of heavy lake-effect snow bands accompanied by gusty winds, making travel within affected areas “difficult to near impossible.”
Governor Hochul addressed the media at a news briefing, stating, “In the interest of keeping both Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh fans safe, the NFL has agreed with our assessment that we need to postpone tomorrow’s playoff game.” She highlighted the necessity of prioritizing public safety in the face of the unpredictable storm.
To further ensure safety, a full travel ban was implemented in Erie County, home to Buffalo, starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Governor Hochul cautioned that travel under such conditions would be “extremely dangerous.”
The rescheduled game marks the kickoff of the first round of the NFL playoffs, holding significant importance for both teams as they vie for a chance to advance to the Super Bowl. The decision to postpone underscores the commitment to safeguarding not only players and staff but also the fans attending the crucial playoff clash.
While the winter storm has impacted the Bills vs. Steelers matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Miami Dolphins remains unaffected. The Super Wild Card Weekend matchup is still slated for 8 p.m. on Saturday in Kansas City, where temperatures are expected to drop to negative 5 degrees in the evening.