As Hurricane Ian intensified Monday with the massive storm hurtling toward Cuba and on a path for Florida’s West Coast, some sports teams in the state have already altered plans this week,
The Tampa Bay region was placed under a hurricane warning Monday evening, and Tampa and St. Petersburg appear to be the among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.
The NFL’s Buccaneers will depart Tampa on Tuesday and head southeast to Miami, where they will relocate their football operations this week. The Buccaneers are expected to practice at the Miami Dolphins’ training complex beginning Wednesday, through the end of their Week 4 preparations.
Tom Brady and the Bucs are scheduled to host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in a rematch of the 2021 Super Bowl, and so far, there have been no alterations to those plans.
The Tampa Bay Rays were off Monday but will be on the road the rest of the week as they battle for an American League playoff spot during the MLB season’s home stretch. The Rays play the Guardians in Cleveland Tuesday through Thursday before a three-game set against the Astros in Houston, beginning Friday.
On Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning postponed two preseason games — Wednesday vs. the Carolina Hurricanes and Thursday vs. the Nashville Predators — as Hurricane Ian approaches.
We have postponed our preseason games on Wednesday, September 28 against Carolina and Thursday, September 29 against Nashville at @AmalieArena due to the potential effects of Hurricane Ian.
Stay safe, Tampa Bay. 💙https://t.co/OL5CKwHKKj
The University of Central Florida in Orlando said it is monitoring the situation, but Saturday’s home game against Southern Methodist currently remains scheduled. Florida State said the same about Saturday’s home game in Tallahassee against Wake Forest, as did the University of Florida about Saturday’s home game in Gainesville against Eastern Washington.
The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, said its campus would be closed Tuesday through Thursday, but did not mention Saturday’s home game against East Carolina.
The storm is also affecting the state’s high school football schedule.
Contributing: John Bacon