The Atlanta Falcons didn’t make the NFL playoffs. That paved the way for their home stadium to become the site for a potential AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.
The NFL announced Thursday that Mercedes-Benz Stadium would be the site of the AFC Championship if a neutral site is necessary.
The option is necessary because of the way playoff positioning was determined after the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game on Jan. 2 was canceled after Bills DB Damar Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter.
Hamlin is recovering nicely after suffering a cardiac arrest.
“We are heartened by the continued improvement and progress of Damar Hamlin in his recovery, and Damar and his family remain top of mind for the entire NFL community,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We are also grateful to Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons for agreeing to host the AFC Championship Game in Atlanta should the Bills and Chiefs advance. We thank both of those clubs for their assistance in the planning process. We know, if necessary, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will provide a world class atmosphere for the competing teams, our fans and partners.”
The NFL also announced that additional details for a Buffalo-Kansas City title game, including ticket information, will be announced at a later date.
Kansas City is about 800 miles from Atlanta while Buffalo is about 892 miles from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. So, that’s about as neutral a site as one can find.