The Buffalo Bills have put out another call for volunteers to help shovel out Highmark Stadium ahead of their AFC Divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. With more heavy snow in the forecast this week, the Bills are hoping to get as much help as possible to clear the stadium and parking lots before the high-stakes matchup.
Lead Up to the Latest Snowfall
The Bills have become accustomed to dealing with heavy snow during the winter months in Buffalo. Earlier this month, a massive blizzard forced the postponement of their Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over 30 inches of snow fell in the Buffalo area, making travel extremely difficult.
Despite the heavy snow, Bills fans were largely unfazed and turned out in droves once the game was moved to Monday afternoon. The team even had to put out a call for shoveling volunteers to help crews dig out the stadium.
Wild Card Weekend Snowfall Totals
|Orchard Park (Bills Stadium)
The Bills were able to clear the snow with help from fans and defeat the Steelers 34-23 to advance to the divisional round. However, another blast of lake effect snow is potentially on the way this week.
Latest Forecast Calls for More Snow
While totals are unlikely to reach the 30+ inch level from two weeks ago, significant additional accumulation is expected in Orchard Park and the Buffalo area between now and Sunday:
- 6-12 inches of new snow on Tuesday
- 2-4 more inches during the week
- Another potential shot of lake effect snow early Sunday morning
This has forced the Bills to once again request help with snow removal at Highmark Stadium. Even a “normal” 8 inch snow event takes considerable effort to clear from the stands, sidelines, and field. Workers have to move quickly to have any chance of getting the surface ready in time for pregame warmups.
Call Put Out for Shoveling Volunteers
On Friday January 19th, the Bills sent out the following tweet asking fans to volunteer to help shovel snow:
Shovelers needed at @HighmarkStadm this week! We’re looking for volunteers to help clear snow for Sunday’s game.
Shoveling will take place throughout the week. Visit https://www.buffalobills.com/stadium/shovelers for more information and to sign up.
The team pays $12 per hour and provides hot chocolate as well as invites to watch the game from the stands. Based on the hundreds of volunteers who showed up during the last storm, it seems likely that many die-hard Bills fans will answer the call once again.
Bills right guard Rodger Saffold spoke about the insane dedication of Buffalo fans:
“These fans definitely have our backs and they show up no matter what the weather is. Rain, snow, whatever – they’re out there cheering us on and now volunteering to make sure this game can happen on Sunday. It really fires the team up and we want to reward them with a win.”
Defensive end Greg Rousseau also commented:
“I knew Buffalo got a decent amount of snow but we might be pushing some sort of record here this month! Our fans are hardcore though, it’s pretty sweet they’re out there shoveling for us. Let’s get this win on Sunday.”
What Will Happen Next
With the latest call for volunteers, the Bills and their fans will work tirelessly over the next few days removing snow to prepare the stadium for Sunday afternoon’s game.
National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Billings predicts that by Sunday, conditions shouldn’t be nearly as bad as the previous blizzard:
“This week’s snow will be much more manageable than what we saw earlier in January. The really heavy lake effect bands should taper off by Saturday morning at the latest. Winds on Sunday look fairly light, so blowing and drifting snow should not be a huge concern like last time.”
So while the field may not be completely clear come kickoff, the scene shouldn’t resemble a winter wonderland quite like the last matchup against Pittsburgh.
Provided travel conditions don’t deteriorate too badly across Western New York, most fans with tickets likely will still be able to make it to the game. The Bills will have all hands on deck removing snow right up until Sunday afternoon.
Of course winter weather is always a wildcard, but at this point Sunday’s AFC Divisional showdown between Buffalo and Kansas City looks good to go. With a trip to the conference championship on the line, neither snow nor arctic winds will prevent these fierce rivals from battling it out at Highmark Stadium!
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