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Hurricane Ian: Updates on sports impacted, including Buccaneers vs Chiefs & college football schedule

Vincent Frank
Hurricane Ian
Credit: USA Today Network

Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s coast Wednesday afternoon at roughly 3:05 PM local time at Cayo Costa State Park, just north of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 with 150-mile-per-hour winds and is on its way to Orlando.

Given the potential catastrophe facing Florida and its neighboring states, sports plays second fiddle. With that said, it’s what we cover here at Sportsnaut. Let’s check in on the impact Hurricane Ian has on the sports world, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, initially scheduled for Sunday Night on NBC.

Related: College football schedule

Tampa Bay Buccaneers move practice, home game against Chiefs will proceed on SNF

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already moved their practice to Miami ahead of their scheduled game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s an absolutely huge matchup pitting former NFL MVPs Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes against one another.

The NFL released a statement on Wednesday indicating that the game would be moved to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the home of the Vikings if it can’t take place in Tampa.

However, that won’t be necessary and the planned matchup on Sunday night football will go ahead as planned. On Thursday morning, the game being played in Florida seemed likely when Tampa Mayor Jane Castor publicly pushed for the game to still take place in the area.

Central Florida, Southern Methodist moved to Sunday due to Hurricane Ian

hurricane ian, central florida game
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Initially scheduled for Saturday afternoon, this college football game was moved to 1:00 PM local time at FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando. Given the current trajectory of the hurricane, it’s more than likely that this game will either be canceled altogether or moved to a different location.

Florida to play at the Swamp on Sunday

florida gators game, hurricane ian
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a loss to Tennessee in Knoxville, the Florida Gators are slated to host a mid-major in that of Eastern Washington this weekend. The game was initially scheduled for 12:00 PM local time on Saturday. It’s now been moved to the same time on Sunday in Gainesville.

This will represent the first time in their storied history that the Gators have played at home on a Sunday. As for this game actually being played and the trajectory of Hurricane Ian, everything is seemingly up in the air.

“As of Wednesday afternoon, the storm is forecast to track just south of Gainesville and Orlando Thursday morning and the region is expected to experience damaging winds, flooding rains and possible tornadoes into Thursday. A state of emergency is in effect for nearly the entire state.”

Report on Hurricane Ian and the Gainesville area

Phillies vs Nationals Saturday double-header moved to Friday

It was reported by The Athletic on Thursday afternoon that the planned double-header between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park has been shifted to Friday with the expectation that the remnants of Hurricane Ian blowing through the northeast region this weekend.

Related: College football top-25 heading into Week 5

At this point, the Hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is not expected to inflict anywhere near the sort of damage that was done in Florida.

New York Mets and Atlanta Braves series might be moved

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest series of the MLB season is in jeopardy of being moved. The Atlanta Braves are slated to host the division-rival New York Mets for a three-game set at Truist Park starting on Friday. New York and Atlanta are tied atop the division with identical 97-58 records. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that this series will be moved from Atlanta with the city facing the potential impact of the hurricane.

“Major League Baseball is considering contingency plans for this weekend’s crucial series in Atlanta between the Mets and Braves as Hurricane Ian slams Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

ESPN reported on Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Ian landfall

South Florida, East Carolina moved to Boca Raton

These two teams were slated to play in Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday. Instead, the game has been moved to Baca Raton, the home of Florida Atlantic. It’s also been moved from 7:00 PM local time to 2:30 PM.

South Carolina game moved to Thursday night

NCAA Football: Clemson at South Carolina
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In preparation for Hurricane Ian likely hitting the region as a tropical storm, South Carolina has moved its home game against in-state rival South Carolina State from Saturday to Thursday.

Current models indicate that Columbia will be facing strong winds and heavy rain Friday through Sunday. Moving the game inside the famed Williams-Brice Stadium just makes too much sense.

Florida State, Wake Forest game still on…for now

hurricane ian, florida state, wake forest game
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 23-ranked Florida State Seminoles are slated to host the 22nd-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 12:30 local time on Saturday. The game, set to be played in Tallahassee inside Doak S. Campbell Stadium, is still on for now. Though, there are some real concerns.

“It’s something we talked to the team about last night, that we were going to make sure that nobody knows exactly what is going to occur as the week goes on, but our plan — we are prepping for this game, and we will have plans in place if anything does occur that needs to alter that.”

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell on plans ahead of Hurricane Ian landfall

As for the local region and how it might be impacted by Hurricane Ian, it’s expected to be limited with tropical storm-level winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour.

A huge Clemson and North Carolina State game is up in the air

NCAA Football: Clemson at North Carolina State
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

A matchup between two top-10 teams in the ACC will bring ESPN’s “College GameDay” to South Carolina Saturday afternoon. Tropical Storm-level rain and winds are expected in Clemson through the weekend. While the game is still scheduled for 7:30 local time, there’s some concern over travel.

“If we can’t fly, then how are we going to get there? So there are a lot of things that we’re having to be ready for in case it gets like that.”

North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren on impact of Hurricane Ian

Clemson sits at No. 5 in the nation and boasts a 4-0 record. Meanwhile, North Carolina State is a surprising 4-0 and finds itself as the 10th-ranked team in the country. It’s the Wolfpack’s highest ranking since Philip Rivers was tossing the rock inside Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh back in 2002.

Tampa Bay Lightning postpone and switch location for upcoming preseason games

The NHL preseason is upon us as teams prepare for the start of the regular year in October. However, the Tampa Bay Lightning have already opted to postpone their preseason game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. However, their matchup on Thursday against the Nashville Predators will still go forward, but it will be done as a road matchup in Nashville instead.

Bookmark this page for continued updates on Hurricane Ian and its impact on the sports schedule.