This past weekend, heavy snowfall wreaked havoc on the Week 14 match-up between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings. First, the snowy conditions caused such a delay to the Giants arrival into Minnesota that they were rerouted to Kansas City. Then, the game was postponed until Monday night. Things took a turn for the worse early Sunday morning when heavy snow accumulation caused the roof at the Metrodome to collapse. As a result, the two teams will play tonight at Ford Field in Detroit.
This was not the first instance that extreme weather conditions caused a venue or date change in the National Football League. Here are just a few of note.
Perhaps, the most significant may be the 1932 playoff game between the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans. An intense blizzard forced the game indoors from Wrigley Field to Chicago Stadium. The smaller arena caused the field to be shorted to only 60 yards in length along with a laundry list of other modifications to the game’s format. These adjustments served as the catalyst for several rules changes the following season. You can read more about the 1932 Playoff game here>>>
In 1992 the Miami Dolphins were scheduled to open their season against the New England Patriots at Pro Player Stadium on Sept. 7. The game was postponed until Oct. 18, 1992 due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Andrew in the South Florida region. The Category 5 storm caused major damages in the entire region and cost an estimated $27 to $34 billion dollars to repair. When the teams finally played, the Dolphins won 38-17 which turned out to be Miami’s sixth straight win since their delayed start of the season.
In 2003 the National Football League moved the San Diego Chargers Monday night game against the Dolphins from Qualcomm Stadium to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The reason was due to wildfires which raged through much of San Diego County. More importantly, the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium served as an evacuation center for thousands of residents who were ordered out of their homes. Tickets for the game in Arizona were distributed for free at the stadium. Again, Miami won 26-10.Not all postponements occur because of extreme weather. Sometimes there are last-minute scheduling issues. The Dolphins’ Oct. 26, 1997 game against the Chicago Bears in Pro Player Stadium was delayed until the following day to make way for Game 7 of the World Series. The Bears defeated the Dolphins 36-33 in overtime but not too many fans in South Florida complained. The Florida Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians to win the franchise's first World Series championship. Not a bad trade-off.
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