TAMPA, Florida — Game On! One of the strongest hurricanes on record to hit Florida’s West Coast won’t impact the latest chapter of Brady vs. Mahomes.
But uncertainty surrounding Sunday night’s Buccaneers game in Tampa has certainly impacted fans of their opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NFL announced the game will be played as scheduled Sunday night in Tampa. The hard part now for Chiefs fans could still be getting there.
All airports around Tampa remained closed Thursday night, while the direct carrier from KCI, Southwest, is warning passengers flights could be impacted all the way through gameday on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers said in a statement Thursday.
It was welcome news to Tampa’s Sheree Jones, a KC native who was excited when the schedule first came out.
“I immediately started looking at tickets,” she recalled.
But then feared the game could be moved to Minnesota, a contingency plan announced by the NFL earlier this week.
“I can’t stop talking about it all my co-workers know I’m going to this game and when we found out about the hurricane coming in I was devastated,” Jones said.
For her evacuation was voluntary, but not an option. She always wanted to take her 18 year old son to a Chiefs game.
“They are like Sheree family first, Chiefs last, I’m like you don’t know what I did, how hard I worked to get these tickets, Chiefs first. We will be okay, I promise you,” she said of her decision to remain in Tampa.
With mandatory evacuations now lifted, Floridians whose homes were spared should be able to make the game. But that’s not the case for all Kansas Citians who bought tickets.
“We had an early check in for Airbnb today that didn’t happen for anyone, all the folks who had flights booked for Thursday were all moved.”
Tampa’s airport remains closed but plans to reopen Friday at Noon Eastern. The first and last direct flight to Tampa Friday not already cancelled is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Central. No flights can depart for a closed airport according to airline officials.
But with travel advisories all the way until kickoff there were just too many uncertainties for people like Chase Welch hoping to also make it a beach vacation.
“It’s probably going to be low percentile for Chiefs fans,” Welch said after seeking a refund for his tickets.
However, The Southwest Florida Chiefs Fans group says they’ve got Chiefs Kingdom covered.
“I will cheer enough for a hundred other fans let me tell you, me and my son they will know that there are Chiefs fans there,” Jones said.
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