The scheduled game was pushed from Sunday to the following day owing to severe snowfall in the vicinity. The loyal supporters of the Buffalo Bills devoted their time to remove snow off the seats in Highmark Stadium, prepping for the delayed showdown in the wild-card against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Highmark Stadium was bathed in sunlight on the set Monday, with its artificial green turf neatly cleaned from all the snow. However, the spectator areas were under a thick layer of white snow about five hours before Bills face off the Steelers in the rescheduled AFC wild-card playoff game.
Due to the lake-effect snow that piled over 2 feet of snow on the Buffalo Bills’ home ground in suburban Orchard Park had moved towards the northern part of Buffalo. This allowed a large team of snow removers and a group of load-bearing tractors to clean the arena diligently.
The Bills paid fans $20/hour to come shovel snow
How it’s currently going ???:
(via Eric Carl Shields/FB) pic.twitter.com/wPipMzHsZ3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 14, 2024
The kickoff got its new timetable at 4:30 p.m. This was a one-off occasion from the initial plan, which was supposed to be played at 1 p.m. the previous day. The severe weather was mostly in and around Orchard Park, which was the main reason for altering the schedule.
The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul decided to postpone the game to the next day after discussing with the NFL. She pointed out that this could be a threat to the safety of the public. Shovel teams were removing the snow since Sunday from seats and pathways, which was falling at a rate of more than 2 inches per hour.
These teams worked throughout the night, with the Bills putting out calls for more helping hands early on the reschedule day. The main roads which led to the stadium were also cleaned and the snow was cleared away, forming 5-foot snow piles along the ways after they were shoveled.
There was uncertainty about the clearance of the three tiers of the 70,000 capacity arena in time for the kickoff. Minutes to kickoff were ticking away, creating doubts about completing the snow clearance job on time.
The National Weather Service suggested that snowfall could continue in streaks only until the afternoon of the game day, with a maximum temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit. The conditions were predicted to chill to even lower temperatures around 14 degrees, with a wind speed ranging between 8 to 16 mph.