The NFL has opted to cancel Thursday’s preseason game between the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys at ATT Stadium in Arlington, Texas, because the Texans will be able to return home sooner than anticipated, according to sources.
Tickets for the game went on sale Tuesday night and more than 40,000 have been sold with the proceeds going to the hurricane relief fund. The Dallas Morning News is reporting that any fans who bought tickets can receive a refund or choose to have the money used as a donation to relief efforts.
The game had been moved from the Texans’ NRG Stadium to the Cowboys’ home stadium earlier this week because of the massive flooding in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey.
The Texans have been in the Dallas area since early Sunday morning after flying directly from their preseason game in New Orleans. The team has been practicing at the Cowboys’ facility in Frisco, Texas this week.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was asked if the game on Thursday could provide a “nice distraction for the people in Houston.”
“No,” Watt said Tuesday. “I think the only good thing that could possibly come out of a game on Thursday would be a massive fundraiser. That’s about the best-case scenario that could some from a game on Thursday is if it raised multi-millions of dollars.
“This is bigger than football. It’s bigger than a game. It’s bigger than any of us. So we need to make sure that we’re thinking about these victims and the city of Houston before anything else.”
This weekend Watt set up an online fundraiser to raise money for flood relief in Houston. As of Wednesday morning, the fund had raised more than $5.1 million. He also raised the goal of the fundraiser to $6 million.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 30, 2017
Watt began the fundraiser on Sunday with an initial donation of $100,000 and setting the goal for $200,000.
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.