If the NFL wants to get back to the tradition of having the Super Bowl champions play on the opening Thursday night of the season, Major League Baseball cleared the way to make that move easier this year.
With the Kansas City Chiefs hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, there appeared to be a potential scheduling conflict. The NFL’s opening night is set for Thursday, Sept. 10. However, the Kansas City Royals, who share a lot with the Chiefs, had a 12:35 p.m. baseball game that day. The dueling events could have made logistics a nightmare.
The Royals graciously stepped aside, changing their schedule that week to free up Thursday for the Chiefs.
“The Kansas City Royals today announced a schedule change for the series against the Oakland Athletics in September to accommodate the Kansas City Chiefs potentially opening at home at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday, September 10,” MLB said in a statement.
The Royals will now play a split doubleheader on the Tuesday of their four-game series with the A’s that week and have Thursday off.
It’s a nice move by the Royals to give their city-mates the chance to own that September Thursday. The decision sits in contrast to Baltimore in 2013 when the Ravens were forced to open the season on the road due to an Orioles game.
The NFL has traditionally opened the season with the Super Bowl champs at home on Thursday night unveiling their banner and celebrating last season. It’s not a rule, however. Last year to celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, the league put traditional rivals Green Bay and Chicago in that spot with the New England Patriots opening up on Sunday Night Football. With two new stadiums opening in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, it’s possible the NFL could go a similar route this year.
The league has not confirmed they will start the season with the Chiefs, but the Royals’ move paves the way to make that decision easier.