Play outside now! The case for outdoor stadiums is strengthened by the Bills-Steelers postponement.


The upcoming Arena Football League reboot is expected to garner record ratings and attendance, if the increasing number of fans who want to shield NFL fields and seating areas from precipitation and temperature drops is any indication.

As the latest Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL gets underway, some have called for delays due to freezing rain. The NFL and the New York State government moved Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers to Monday afternoon (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS), but Saturday’s cold meet between the Chiefs and Dolphins will still go ahead as scheduled.

Wrong arguments have been used to support and criticize the decision, but paradoxically, one cannot exist without the other.

To address the pressing matter first, the game on Sunday had to be postponed. The needs of the zealous few who ruin playoff participation for everyone should not take priority over the needs of the local first responders, who are expected to have a busy weekend. This is especially true for Bills supporters, who frequently display their team spirit in, let’s say, unusual ways, as seen by the growing sales of folding tables and lighter fluid.

As most people are aware, hundreds of deputies from various agencies in addition to the sheriff’s office help out on game day. According to an ESPN report by Alaina Getzenberg, “They should be assisting in the midst of a snowstorm, helping those in need, not directing traffic at a football stadium,” stated Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz. “None of us want to see that many vehicles on the road tomorrow morning trying to get to a football stadium knowing that the conditions are going to be as bad as they are.”

Thus, Monday will determine who advances to the Divisional round, but the discussion about the actual atmosphere is likely to dominate and last long after the clock at Highmark Stadium reaches triple zeros. It will be anchored by the Bills’ Orchard Park successor.

New Highmark Stadium is scheduled to open in time for the 2026 season and will not have a roof of any kind. Since the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium opened in Santa Clara almost ten years ago, it will be the first stadium to be open all year round.

Since 2014, every new hub constructed has carried an ostentatious umbrella: only Atlanta, out of the four, has been able to open, and the majority of its major games have been held indoors. Following the announcement on Saturday, there will probably be calls for Buffalo to do the same, especially since the Chiefs and Dolphins are playing for a Divisional spot at Arrowhead Stadium in frigid conditions.

However, you won’t be able to give up the best homefield advantage in the NFL very easily, especially in light of the one point indoor supporters would prefer to ignore: the Bills and Steelers wouldn’t have played on Sunday in the world’s coziest, most remote dome. A roof shields the final location, but not the route.

Thus, the proposal to house every NFL game is a part of a troubling trend in sports where almost all forms of adversity are handled by bureaucratic means (for lack of a better term, as there are far more pressing issues to attend to in modern civilization).

Paralyzing' snow could wreak havoc on Bills vs. Browns game in Buffalo

Do MLB hitters struggle to beat the shift? Put the pitchers on a clock and outlaw it. Will Hack-a-Shaq live to see its namesake retire from the NBA? Don’t tell shooters to improve at the foul line, adjust the rules instead. The NFL may eventually become immune to the idea. Rather than figuring out how to curtail the Philadelphia Eagles’ signature “Tush Push,” some highly influential people would prefer to see it banned.

So why should we stop talking about weather when discussing the NFL?

Naturally, a case could be made through extensive player conversations, but nothing suggests that such a movement is about to pick up steam. However, teams have managed to overcome the elements, regardless of how unusual or absurd they may appear. For instance, who could forget Buffalo specialists thawing the field instantly for Tyler Bass’s game-winning field goal against Miami in 2022?

It even holds up in the heat: the Eagles, who started this trend at the beginning of the year, defeated the Dallas Cowboys 41-14 in the first game of the new millennium. They did so by using pickle juice instead of Gatorade to keep themselves from cramping in the 109 degree heat that reached Texas Stadium.

You can’t use elemental blocking to your advantage when it comes to the field of play; didn’t Mr. Burns teach you anything?

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