Ice storm forces NFL to reschedule Chiefs, Steelers playoff game to Sunday night
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
January 15, 2017, 3:55:09 PM EST
Icy spots will still be around Kansas City on Sunday evening as the Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a NFL divisional round matchup.
A large and potentially destructive ice storm is expected to expand across the central United States during the weekend. The storm could bring major travel hazards, especially for untreated road surfaces.
Due to the severity of the storm, on Friday afternoon, the NFL announced that the kickoff time had been moved to 8:20 p.m. EST. The game had originally been scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EST.
"Moving the game from the original 1:05 p.m. EST start time will provide local authorities more time to clear roads in the area as the weather is expected to improve throughout Sunday," the NFL said in a statement.
However, fans should still use caution when driving to the stadium.
Temperatures will continue to hover around 32-33 F ahead of and during the game, resulting in icy spots on untreated roads and other surfaces.
“Fans will need to have appropriate rain gear and be prepared for a cold, wet game,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Ice from earlier in the day may still be on some surfaces within the stadium, though the heating system under the field will keep the grass wet and prevent ice from building up on the playing surface, he added.
Severe central US ice storm to cut power, immobilize travel and cause damage
VIDEO: Destructive ice storm to cause widespread travel delays throughout central US
AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
Temperatures will gradually rise overnight, but fans should still use caution when heading home after the game. There could still be lingering icy spots on the coldest untreated surfaces. Areas of fog may pose other hazards by reducing visibility.
A turn to milder weather will relieve the city of any ice on Monday.
Members of the Chiefs’ grounds crew prepared the field well in advance for the game, according to ChiefsDigest.com.
Head groundskeeper Travis Hogan told the website the center of the field has been re-sodded and the thickness of the sod will allow the turf to withstand the rigors of an NFL playoff game. In addition, the field will likely be covered on Friday to keep it warm and dry in advance of the game.
“We could have gotten through it without actually re-sodding, but we wanted to make sure that we put the best possible field out there for this playoff game,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said on the team's website.
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