After moving the game to AT&T Stadium, the NFL is canceling Thursday’s preseason contest between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans.
Thursday’s game was previously scheduled to be played at Houston’s NRG Stadium, but a change in venue was made earlier this week, as Houston continued to deal with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The NFL revealed on Monday that the game would be still played on Thursday, but that it would be relocated to the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The game will now be scrapped, with the Texans focusing on returning to the Houston. The organization issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, explaining the decision to cancel the game and outlining plans to donate to the relief and recovery efforts:
“The Houston Texans have made the decision to travel back to Houston after local authorities have now found a safe route for the team to drive home today. The fourth preseason game scheduled for Thursday night in Dallas will be cancelled. At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered. The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Robert, Janice, Cal and Hannah McNair will make a donation equal to the money that would have been generated from ticket sales from Thursday’s preseason game in Arlington to recovery and relief efforts.
Fans that have purchased tickets to Thursday’s game will have the option to donate the money to relief efforts or request a refund through Ticketmaster. Further details regarding refunds will be announced later today.
The Houston Texans sincerely appreciate the support shown by the Dallas Cowboys and our NFL family during this difficult time.”
Regions that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, including the Houston area, are still dealing with its fallout. The Texans believe that their first regular season game at NRG Stadium–which is scheduled for September 10 against thte Jacksonville Jaguars–will be played as scheduled, according general manager Rick Smith. More from ESPN:
Texans general manager Rick Smith said the Texans’ Week 1 game will be played as scheduled at NRG Stadium.
“Nothing has to happen. The game is at NRG. It’s scheduled to be played in NRG, so it will be played in NRG,” he said.
Smith said there were shouts of joy when he told the players the game was cancelled and they were heading home.
“I’ve been increasingly impressed with them as we’ve dealt with all the things we’ve had to deal with over the last couple of days. And the way they have been resilient, and the way they have maintained their focus during practice and being pros. But it was a shout of joy when we announced we were going home. I think everyone wants to get there,” he said.
Along with the preseason game on Thursday, NRG Stadium was also expected to host the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff between LSU and BYU on Saturday, September 2. However, that game was moved to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.