Hurricane Irma forces FIU, Alcorn State game to Birmingham’s Legion Field

Florida International tight end Jonnu Smith, front right, runs as Middle Tennessee safety Jovante Moffatt, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — FIU’s home opener will get played, a long way from home.

The Panthers will meet Alcorn State on Friday night in Birmingham, Alabama. The game was to be played Saturday night in Miami, but had to be moved because of the anticipated impact of Hurricane Irma.

FIU will leave for Alabama on Thursday, and has secured all the charter flights, buses and hotel rooms it will need to accommodate the travel party. There are plans in place for the Panthers to stay in the Birmingham area through the weekend — if Irma keeps them from returning safely to Miami.

If the game was not moved to a neutral site, it would have been unlikely to be rescheduled.

CBS 42 reached out to Birmingham’s mayor William Bell. He told us:

“I offered Legion Field for them to play after Mark Ingram [UAB’s Athletic Director] made me aware. We’ve waived all fees for the game. We have worked with Houston to help with their needs and we are here to help in Florida as well.

We will start an additional drive on Monday, are preparing to house evacuees if called upon, and are clearing storm drains throughout the city to minimize flooding here.”

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