KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL has chosen a neutral site for the AFC Championship game if necessary.
Atlanta will host the AFC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium if the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are set to face each other, the league confirming plans on Thursday.
The game would take place on Sunday, January 29 with a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.
Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest in the first quarter caused the game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals to be ruled a no-contest. The game had direct implications for the AFC number one seed.
“We are heartened by the continued improvement and progress of Damar Hamlin in his
recovery, and Damar and his family remain top of mind for the entire NFL community,”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a news release.
“We are also grateful to Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons for agreeing to host the AFC Championship Game in Atlanta should the Bills and Chiefs advance.”
Had the Bills beaten the Bengals and beaten the Patriots like they did Sunday, they would have been the number one seed, holding a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs.
The Chiefs ended up earning the top seed and Wild Card Weekend bye after defeating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18 to finish 14-3.
Indianapolis was initially ruled out because of prior planned events.
NFL commissioner Goodell and the Competition Committee approved a plan to move the AFC Championship to a neutral site if the teams involved could have had homefield advantage if there was a Bills-Bengals winner.
NFL owners had a special league meeting that approved the resolution.
Details surrounding ticket sales will be released later, with Chiefs and Bills season ticket holders getting priority.