With Hurricane Matthew getting closer to South Florida on Thursday morning, the Miami Hurricanes were still set to play the Florida Seminoles in football at Hard Rock Stadium at 8 p.m. Saturday.
But just in case, officials have discussed other scenarios as well – as they would in any situation that might threaten travel plans and/or a major sporting event.
When asked if Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and college football’s USF, could be an alternative to Hard Rock should the game not be played in Miami Gardens, Miami athletic director Blake James wrote this in a text message to the Miami Herald:
“Our plan is to play at Hard Rock Stadium. If for whatever reason we are unable to play the game at Hard Rock Stadium we have brainstormed all possible ideas. With that said my belief remains that we will play at Hard Rock Stadium.’’
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The Tampa Bay Times reported a story close to midnight on Wednesday broaching the possibility of the game being moved to Raymond James, where USF-East Carolina was scheduled at noon Saturday. The Buccaneers will be on the road Monday.
The No. 23 FSU at No. 10 UM game is the prime-time, national-spotlight game for ABC on Saturday night, with a probable sellout at Hard Rock. Kickoff is set for 8:14 p.m.
“With Hurricane Matthew expected to sideswipe the state Thursday and Friday,’’ a UM statement released Wednesday said, “officials are monitoring the system and its impact on the game.’’
Miami cancelled classes and all school activities as of 5 p.m. Wednesday and through Friday because of the storm.
FSU, which usually travels to its road games on Thursday night, was going to wait until at least Friday to travel.
“It looks like the worst of it may hit Thursday night in Miami,’’ Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday afternoon. “So we may have to wait until Friday morning before we go down. That’s our thoughts right now, but we don’t know.
“We’re still getting updates as it goes. We don’t want to take our kids down there while the worst part is there.’’