Every week, the NFL Lions check to see if Ford Field is available…just in case.
Just in case this week came.
With the Bills and Browns ready to play today in Detroit at 1 p.m. EST game, originally scheduled As Buffalo’s home game, it took a round-the-clock effort of more than 150 Detroit workers to make it happen.
“It was all on deck,” Todd Argost, the Lions’ senior vice president of facilities, told NFL.com. “Everyone rallied.”
Ford Field would be ready for the Browns-Bills. Media crews were allowed to be present on Friday to set up the scoreboard as if it were a Bills home game. Buffalo will use the visiting locker room to stay consistent with what it will use on Thanksgiving Day when it is Black plays.
There would be no Bills pennants on the field—the timing of the transfer did not allow for it and the league did not want a rush attempt that could have led to problems. But Buffalo was invited to bring any team banners and logos to the field walls and the Lions would put them up.
Oh, and according to Argust, the game run out in three hours.
Argust explained: “The tickets were reasonably priced, $10 to $30, and they all snapped. Released to Bills season ticket list, then Bills app users, then Lions season ticket holders. They all went fast.”
“It’s really the home team’s choice,” Bills general manager Brandon Bean said earlier in the week. “We’re the home team. The only thing we want from a home team standpoint this week is the fans.”
With epic snowfall in western New York—up to 77 inches, according to weather experts—the NFL decided to move the game in consultation with local authorities.
“The decision to move the game to Detroit has to do everything around safety,” said Bills executive vice president Ron Rakoya.
But this led to a mad struggle of lions and their installations.
As the league’s choice for neutral site contingency plans, they’re always ready. But this week was a little different.