(Reuters) - The Bills made their way out of snowbound Buffalo for Detroit on Friday, utilizing snowmobiles to pick up players living near Ralph Wilson Stadium as they prepared to play their weather-delayed game against the New York Jets on Monday.
The National Football League team was able to get every player and coach to the airport and on the plane to head for their hastily arranged, Monday night game, the league website reported.
“The hardest thing is mobilizing the entire operation in a matter of not even 24 hours,” said Bills president Russ Brandon of the NFL’s Thursday night decision to play in Detroit.
“Trying to get everyone to the airport, get your equipment operation there, your video operation, your medical and training operation -- getting everything mobilized, its been an overnight exercise,” he told nfl.com.
Free tickets to Monday’s 7 p.m. ET game between the Bills (5-5) and Jets (2-8) at Detroit’s Ford Field will be distributed by the Lions’ website. All seats will be general admission.
Tickets to the originally scheduled game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo will also be accepted for admission.
Nearly 80 inches (2.03 m) of snow had buried parts of the Buffalo area, making the game impossible to stage in Buffalo.
Many of the Bills players and coaches were seeing each other for the first time since the storm hit earlier in the week and local authorities restricted the use of roads.
The team, after a short stop at their Detroit hotel, headed to Ford Field for their first practice of the week.
Bills coaches tried to make the best of the previous three days by sending game plans and other instructions to players electronically and setting up conference calls for them with the position coaches.
The Bills also planned to practice on Saturday and hold a walkthrough on Sunday.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry