Update, 6:19 PM EST: The Buffalo Bills have officially landed in Detroit. The first leg of their travel nightmare is now over, as the Bills kick off their Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns tomorrow at 1PM EST from Ford Field.
Update, 3:59 PM EST: Multiple outlets are reporting that the Bills are now boarding their flight to Detroit and will arrive in Michigan later this afternoon. It took the team an entire day of effort to accomplish this otherwise simple feat, as detailed below. We will have another update once the team lands safely.
I hear the Bills team is now boarding the plane bound for Detroit. Operation Get the Bills to Detroit is a success.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) November 19, 2022
Update, 3:16 p.m. EST: The Buffalo Bills are officially on their way to the airport for their flight to Detroit, according to Kevin Hayes of Spectrum news.
Update, 1:55 p.m. EST: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that all Buffalo Bills players have made it to the team’s training facilities on One Bills Drive and are still on track to make their flight to Detroit a little later this afternoon.
Update, 11:43 a.m. EST: Andy Young van Spectrum news reports that the Bills are getting help from Orchard Park Police and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to get to the airport in time for their flight to Detroit.
Update, 11:19 a.m. EST: Buffalo Bills COO Ron Raccuia is one of the members of the organization driving through the Orchard Park area this morning to pick up Bills players and take them to the airport for their flight to Detroit, according to Tim Graham of The athletic.
Bills COO Ron Raccuia, as he’s just driving to pick up players, tells me, “We’re doing everything we can to get this done and get to the airport and to Detroit this afternoon. Every aspect of the organization is part of this effort.”
— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) November 19, 2022
That flight, according to Abby Fridmann of WIVB-TV in Buffalo, does scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST.
Update, 9:43 a.m. EST: Buffalo Airport has announced that its runways have been cleared and reopened. That leaves only the hurdle of actually getting the team to the airport for their flight.
Original Story: The Buffalo Bills have previously struggled their way through huge snowdrifts to escape to Detroit for a professional football game, and they will try to do so again today (Saturday) ahead of tomorrow’s “home” game against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field .
It won’t be easy. The Buffalo airport announced this on Friday morning runways were temporarily closed due to snowand a a travel ban has been issued in the city of Buffaloto add to already existing bans in the surrounding areas.
Snow stopped in Western NY (for now), the #Accounts are working to get players out of their homes and into the airport. The plane to Detroit is scheduled for this afternoon. And the hope is that it goes off
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 19, 2022
Orchard Park, NY was subject to a record New York State snowfall in a 24-hour period spanning Thursday through Friday night, with 66 inches of snow falling in that time frame.
The bills today have two obvious objectives, both of which will be adventurous to achieve:
- Reach the airport
- Fly to Detroit
As long as the airport is able to clear the runways in a timely manner — which is still a big “if,” as snow isn’t expected to stop falling until Sunday — that’s the easier of the two hurdles. Arriving at the airport can be a bit trickier.
I am very curious how we will get to Detroit
— Quintin Morris (@QuintinMorris_) November 19, 2022
Can we move the game here on Sunday evening? I feel like that’s still the safest option. Because a) it’s still snowing and it will stay all night and b) I haven’t seen the road since last night, I have no idea how these guys are going to get out tomorrow morning with even more snow.
— Rachel (@Rachel__Bush) November 19, 2022
Former Bills center and current radio color analyst Eric Wood, who was part of the 2014 Bills team that played a regular season game against the New York Jets for the same reason, reminded fans Saturday morning that it was enterprising locals with snowmobiles who helped make it team makes it to the airport for their flight to Ford Field.
For those wondering how the bills will arrive at the airport today, just a reminder that in 2014, some of us were picked up from our homes by random strangers on snowmobiles. They’ll do whatever it takes to get to Detroit today. I can guarantee you that.#Bills Mafia pic.twitter.com/1fCEXsNYPs
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) November 19, 2022
That confidence that Buffalo will find a way to make it to Detroit may not be matched by all. Should further complications arise, the Bills may face a just-in-the-nick-time arrival situation, or the NFL may need to consider adjusting the game’s start time.
We’ll keep this post updated throughout the day today as the Bills’ travel journey continues.