Florida International U

Florida college football team moves to Alabama because of Irma. They may stay a spell


FIU will play its home opener this weekend after all.

It just won’t be in Miami.

The Panthers will play host to Alcorn State as scheduled only the game has been moved to historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, due to concerns with Hurricane Irma — a Category 5 storm with South Florida in its sights.

Kickoff is Friday at 7 p.m.

FIU reportedly worked with officials at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the city of Birmingham to move the game from Miami.

In 2014, UAB dropped football in what turned out to be a temporary move.

The Blazers played their first game since 2014 last weekend at Legion Field.

Depending on the damage from the storm, FIU has tentative plans to stay in Alabama through next week.

Like many in the Sunshine State, the Panthers are basically evacuating.

The Panthers play at Indiana on Sept. 16 and could travel to Bloomington from Alabama if there is any serious damage to their campus or travel into South Florida is restricted.

“We have decided to relocate a number of our teams to Birmingham, Alabama,” FIU director of sports and entertainment said in a statement.

“I want to thank UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram, the University of Alabama Birmingham and the Birmingham community for their tremendous help and assistance.

“The UAB family has gone above-and-beyond to make us feel welcome.”

FIU and Alcorn State were originally scheduled to play Saturday night in Miami. Possible television coverage from beIN Sports is pending.


▪ When, where: 7 p.m.; Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama.

▪ TV/radio: TBA.

▪ Scouting report: FIU opened its season last Thursday with a 61-17 loss at UCF in Butch Davis’ debut as coach of the Panthers. Alcorn State kicked off 2017 with a 50-21 victory over Miles College. The Braves went 5-6 last season but played for the SWAC championship — losing to Grambling State 27-20.