The Pittsburgh Steelers will fly in and out on the same day they play the New York Giants this weekend because they can’t find an area hotel with power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
With their reserved hotel in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the dark in advance of the Nov. 4 game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Steelers were unable to find a reasonable alternate option, Burt Lauten, a spokesman for the National Football League team, said in a telephone interview.
Instead, they’ll fly the morning of the game that begins at 4:25 p.m. New York time and return that night to Pittsburgh, about an hour’s flight away. They received permission from the NFL, which requires visiting teams to arrive at least one day before kickoff.
“The Steelers were given permission to travel on Sunday due to the unique circumstances,” Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL, said in an e-mail. “There was a lack of hotel accommodations and the late afternoon game gives the Steelers more time on Sunday to travel.”
As of yesterday afternoon, about 1.7 million homes and businesses in New Jersey remained without power following the storm that killed at least 12 in the state. Sandy has been described by weather analysts as the biggest Atlantic storm in history.
The New Jersey Transit train that usually carries about 10,000 fans 2 1/4 miles from Secaucus to MetLife Stadium for NFL games won’t be running this weekend, Pat Hanlon, a spokesman for the Giants, said today on Twitter. Bus service from the Port Authority terminal in New York will be available. NJ Transit resumed limited commuter-line service today.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in an effort to ensure that the game wouldn’t divert public resources from the relief and recovery efforts, said Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league.
“The governor said it would not and was pleased the game was being played and that the Giants and NFL were saluting first responders during the game,” McCarthy said in an e-mail.
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