The NFL has moved back the kickoff time of Sunday’s Chiefs playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers from 12:05 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Sunday because of an impending ice storm.
“Due to public safety concerns in light of the forecasted storm this weekend in the Kansas City area, Sunday’s Steelers-Chiefs Divisional Playoff game on NBC has been moved,” read a statement from the NFL.
“Moving the game from the original start time will provide local authorities more time to clear roads in the area as the weather is expected to improve throughout Sunday.
“The decision to make this time change was made in consultation with state and local officials as well as the Chiefs and the Steelers.”
The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for the Kansas City area through Sunday evening, warning of a “dangerous and potentially crippling” situation with up to three-quarters of an inch of ice accumulating as the storm intensifies Saturday night. The forecast for Sunday calls for warming temperatures and a change from freezing rain to rain later. Whether that happens during the game remains uncertain.
Chiefs president Mark Donovan said the Chiefs have started pre-treating parking lots and roads leading to the gates. The pavement will continue to be treated during the week and before and after precipitation.
Preparations also are being made inside Arrowhead Stadium to keep the walkways, aisles and stairs clear of ice, according to the team.
Like the temperature, ticket prices for the Chiefs-Steelers playoff game dropped on the secondary market before the kickoff time change. The Chiefs said earlier in the week that only single tickets remained for purchase through Ticketmaster.
On three secondary ticket markets, low-end prices for tickets in some 300 sections were $30 or less on Friday afternoon. Stubhub.com had tickets in section 330 for $27. Overland Park-based Ticketsforless.com offered tickets in several 300 sections in the $30-$40 range.
Some of the coldest games in NFL history have occurred in the playoffs.
On Dec. 31, 1967, the “Ice Bowl” between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys for the NFL Championship at Lambeau Field was played in minus-13 degrees with a wind chill of minus-48.
On Jan. 10, 1982 in Cincinnati, the Bengals and San Diego Chargers played for the AFC Championship in minus-9 temperatures with a wind chill of minus-59.
But neither game involved freezing rain or sleet.