Buffalo Bills And Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Neutral Site Selected – Deadline
The AFC Championship Game won’t be shuffling off to Buffalo or taking a train or plane to Kansas City, if the chalk on the NFL playoffs proves accurate.
If the favored Bills and the Chiefs both advance to the conference title game, the contest that decides who will be heading to the Super Bowl will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the NFL announced Thursday.
Buffalo has a home wild card matchup against the Dolphins this Sunday, the start of the NFL playoffs, while Kansas City awaits the lowest remaining seed in the Divisional Round following a bye week.
If one of Buffalo or Kansas City is eliminated, the AFC Championship’s location would revert to the home field of the highest-remaining seed.
A potential neutral site became necessary after the cancellation of Buffalo’s Monday Night Football game against Cincinnati following the injury to Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest on the field after a tackle.
That game’s cancellation allowed Kansas City to claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed based on winning percentage. The Chiefs finished the regular season 14-3. Buffalo, playing 16 games, finished 13-3.
“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,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.
“We thank both of those clubs for their assistance in the planning process. We know, if necessary, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will provide a world class atmosphere for the competing teams, our fans and partners.”
Atlanta is an indoor stadium, which will change the dynamics of the championship game from the cold weather outdoors and open up the passing game for both teams.
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