The NFL announced today that Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears will be played in Tampa, as originally scheduled. The game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium, and will be the season opener for the Bucs.
The Tampa Bay area was spared the brunt of Hurricane Irma, though the wider area was still badly affected and Tampa itself certainly suffered significant material damage. The hurricane had already forced the NFL to postpone the Bucs’ season opener which was originally planned for last Sunday in Miami, but will now be played in November.
“Hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days,” Bucs COO Brian Ford said. “We look forward to providing our fans and the entire region an opportunity to come together this Sunday to kick off our 2017 season.”
The game was never really in doubt, though there were some questions about the Bucs’ ability to practice in Tampa this week, given the fact that the team had been evacuated. It seems the team will practice in Tampa as scheduled, though.