Steelers to travel day of game

Updated: November 2, 2012, 10:53 AM ET
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

The Pittsburgh Steelers will fly to New Jersey only hours before playing the Giants on Sunday because of a travel disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Steelers' hotel in Jersey City still doesn't have power since the superstorm hit the East Coast, and the team can't find another hotel to accommodate the organization in the area.

The Steelers now will fly into Newark, N.J., on Sunday morning, have a pregame meal at a hotel near the airport and bus to the stadium, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Kickoff against the defending Super Bowl champions is 4:25 p.m.

The Steelers will charter home later Sunday night.

"I don't think I have traveled and played a game on the same day since high school," Steelers linebacker James Harrison tweeted.

NFL teams are required to travel the day before a game, but the league allowed the Steelers to alter their plans.

"Before we looked for another one (hotel), we decided we just didn't feel right about asking employees at any of the hotels down there to start making a bunch of extra efforts to accommodate us, when so many of them are having issues themselves," a senior Steelers official told ESPN's Rachel Nichols.

"There are a lot of very difficult things going on for a lot of people in that area. Us having to fly in and out on the same day as a football game is no hardship in comparison."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday that commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "to ensure that the game would not divert any public safety resources. The governor said the game would not."

"The governor was pleased the game was going to happen and that the Giants and the NFL were going to salute the first responders and also use the visibility of the NFL's games to help raise funds for the Red Cross," McCarthy said.

Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast and forced the postponement of Thursday night's regular-season NBA opener between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks at the new Barclays Center.

The Miami Heat, who will play the Knicks on Friday night in New York, were supposed to land in Newark on Thursday night. The team's hotel in New York City is open and has power.

Earlier Thursday, the NFL and its players' union and the NBA and its players' union each said they will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations to help in the recovery efforts from the superstorm.

Information from ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, ESPN's Rachel Nichols, ESPN.com's Darren Rovell and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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