Bucs to host Chiefs at home stadium despite Hurricane Ian’s destruction in Florida

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after spending the week practicing at the Miami Dolphins facility, will be able to return to Tampa, Florida, to play their Sunday night football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Over the past few days, the game at Raymond James Stadium has been in serious jeopardy as Hurricane Ian has severely impacted Southwest Florida. 

Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022, in Tampa, Florida, as the Buccaneers hosted the Miami Dolphins.

Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022, in Tampa, Florida, as the Buccaneers hosted the Miami Dolphins. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Fortunately, the Tampa area was spared the worst of the damage from the hurricane, allowing the Bucs to play the Chiefs at their home stadium. 

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“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the many thousands in the Southwest Florida region who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Ian,” the Buccaneers said in a statement on Thursday. “We are also very thankful that the Tampa Bay area was spared the most damaging consequences of this powerful storm.”

Raymond James Stadium on May 14, 2022, in Tampa, Florida.

Raymond James Stadium on May 14, 2022, in Tampa, Florida. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“We have informed the NFL, after consulting with local and state agencies, that we are ready to play Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium as originally scheduled.” 

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On Wednesday, the NFL announced that U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, would be used for the game if Raymond James Stadium was impacted.  

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“We can’t control the outside forces,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said, according to ESPN. “You know, our thoughts are with the city of Tampa right now, but where we have to play – hopefully it is Tampa and everything is fine; that means we’re not damaged too much. But if we have to go play elsewhere, you know, we just have to focus and lock in. Nobody’s gonna to feel sorry for us, you know, so we’ve gotta be ready to play.”

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On Thursday morning, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor provided an update for fans of the Buccaneers as the recovery effort in the surrounding era now begins. 

Players warm up in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa before the Green Bay Packers game on Sept. 25, 2022.

Players warm up in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa before the Green Bay Packers game on Sept. 25, 2022. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“On another note: we’re doing our best to keep the[Buccaneers] game here Sunday,” Castor posted to social media. “I have assured the[NFL] that the only disturbance here Sunday is when the Bucs kick a–.”

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Both Tampa Bay and Kansas City are coming off losses in Week 3. 

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