NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The kickoff of the game between the Houston Texans at the Tennessee Titans has been delayed by an hour because of extreme cold and power outages in the region.
The Titans issued a statement saying the decision was made with the NFL, the local Office of Emergency Management, the Nashville Electric Service and the Mayor’s Office out of “an abundance of caution to ensure that the game would not negatively impact our community in any way.”
The team also said they are working to cut all non-essential power around Nissan Stadium even with gates open for fans.
“At all times, the operation of the game remained secondary to the well-being of our community and we can’t thank the OEM and NES enough for their dedication to the safety of our neighbors,” the Titans said in a statement.
The temperature was 17 degrees and felt like 4 degrees about 75 minutes before the scheduled kickoff, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper wrote on social media asking everyone, especially all-nonessential businesses to cut back their power usage with the Tennessee Valley Authority using rolling blackouts to protect the power grid.
After the delay was announced, Cooper quickly thanked the Titans.
“I appreciate the (at)Titans delaying kickoff for one hour as (at)TVAnews commits to immediately ending the rolling blackouts,” Cooper wrote. “NES continues to work hard to minimize disruption for residents this holiday weekend.”
Photos of the lights being on all Friday night at Nissan Stadium spread on social media from critics dealing with power outages. The lights stayed on with crews working throughout the night repairing burst water pipes around the stadium.
A couple of luxury suites remained closed Saturday because of water damage.
The Titans (7-7) already face a quick turnaround from this game with the Texans (1-12-1). The Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to visit Thursday night.
Workers were busy using blowers to clear light snow from the field around 90 minutes before the previously scheduled kickoff for 1 p.m. EST. No players from either team were on the field at the time.
Delaying kickoff by an hour puts the game at risk of ending around sunset, which will be 5:38 p.m. EST.
With extreme cold hitting much of the country, this game is poised to be the coldest in franchise history for the Titans. The previous coldest temperature at kickoff was Dec. 31, 2017, when it was 23. The coldest with the wind chill was 14 on Dec. 25, 2000, against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Nashville Electric Service shared that TVA shifted from a 10% mandatory power conservation to 5%, meaning a 10-minute outage every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
The Nashville Predators played, and lost 3-2 in overtime, to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. The NHL team’s president noted on social media Friday night that the Predators powered their arena by generators.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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