NFL has chosen Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for a possible Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship game
The NFL said that Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Atlanta Falcons play, has been chosen as the neutral site for a Bills-Chiefs game in the AFC Championship.
On January 29, the AFC Championship will take place. A resolution that allowed the conference championship to be played at a neutral site was approved by team owners earlier this month.
The league made the decision after safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and went into cardiac arrest during the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game in Week 17.
Hamlin was released from the hospital on Wednesday, according to the Bills, and he will continue his recovery at home with his family and the team.
“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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Thursday.
“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.”
Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ quarterback, offered his thoughts on the possibility of holding the conference championship game at a neutral site earlier this week.
“Nothing was going to be fair for anybody, I don’t think. It’s a situation that we never have encountered before,” Mahomes shared on Monday. “But at the end of the day, I was so happy that Damar was doing better and that’s the most important stuff.
“And so him doing better and him being in a better spot, we were ready to do whatever scenario was going to happen. So if that was neutral site, if that was going there (to Buffalo), whatever it was, we were just ready to go out there and play. But we have to win that first game first, so let’s worry about whoever we play in that first round, or that first round for us.”
Only in the event that both Buffalo and Kansas City advance to the AFC Championship round will the neutral site be utilized. The NFL determined that both teams had a chance at the No. 1 spot despite playing an equal number of regular-season games. 1 seed if all 17 games were played by AFC teams.
Prior to the start of the regular season, Atlanta had been chosen as a possible backup host location for the playoff games because of the NFL’s contingency policies. Buffalo and Kansas City are almost indistinguishable from Atlanta.
Additionally, the league announced that ticket information for the neural site game would be made available in the future.
In the wild-card round, the Bills (13-3) will play the Dolphins (9-8) on Sunday. The Chiefs (14-3) currently hold the No. 1 seed and a week off.