NFL moves Monday night

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) The NFL moved Monday night's Chargers-Dolphins game to Tempe, Ariz., from Qualcomm Stadium because of wildfires in the San Diego area.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement Sunday night that the city of San Diego advised the league it could not play the game in Qualcomm.

The sky throughout the county was choked with smoke and ash from three fast-moving fires that burned more than 264,000 acres, killed 13 people and burned nearly 650 homes by Sunday evening.

Mayor Dick Murphy urged the NFL to either postpone or move the game and Tagliabue complied.

Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe is the home of the Arizona Cardinals, who beat San Francisco 16-13 there Sunday.

The Qualcomm Stadium's parking lot was turned into a major evacuation center as residents from several surrounding neighborhoods were ordered out of their homes.

''We're prepared to get on a plane and go somewhere,'' Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said before the game was moved to Tempe. ''We can move real quickly.''

The Dolphins arrived in San Diego late Sunday afternoon.

The NFL moved a game between the Patriots and 49ers from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif., on Oct. 22, 1989, after the Bay Area earthquake damaged Candlestick.

In 1992, the league rescheduled the season opener between New England and Miami from Sept. 6 to Oct. 18 because of damage from Hurricane Andrew.

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