TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will temporarily relocate to South Florida as Hurricane Ian prepares to move down Florida’s west coast Wednesday into Thursday, the team announced Monday night.
The Bucs left Tampa on Tuesday and will spend the rest of the week practicing at the Miami Dolphins’ Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens over the weekend if necessary. The Bucs hosted the Dolphins for two days of joint practices before the Week 1 preseason game.
A tornado warning was issued for the Tampa Bay area Monday night. Forecasters say the region will begin to see the storm’s effects Tuesday afternoon, with the worst of it coming Thursday. Ian is currently a Category 2 hurricane but is expected to strengthen as it moves offshore.
“I don’t think anybody’s really prepared for this. I know I’ve prepared all morning and I’ve got all my stuff out, try to get it in, try to get everything a little higher on the ground.” Bucs quarterback. Tom Brady On Monday, “Let’s Go!” Podcast. “I’m here in the Bay Area so they’re talking about a pretty big hurricane and it’s a scary thing. I mean, when it hits your door, it’s a scary thing.”
The NFL continues to monitor the situation, but as of Monday night, the plan is still for the Bucs to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium. If the Bucks can’t host the game, the NFL is unlikely to use Miami as the new game site, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, although the Dolphins — who play at Cincinnati on Thursday night — will not. They use the stadium on Sundays.
According to sources, the NFL doesn’t want to risk taking state resources to host a game in Miami that could be better used in Tampa after the hurricane.
If Sunday’s game were to be moved, the Bucs and Chiefs would play at a neutral site in the Midwest, such as Minneapolis (the Vikings play the New Orleans Saints in London in Week 4). Those plans remain fluid given the storm’s unknown path.