This past week’s blizzard in the Northeast has brought even more attention to the already real possibility of weather playing a factor in next year’s Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey early next February. This marks the first time the NFL has decided to host the big game in a cold weather/open air stadium. Traditionally,the game is either in a warm climate city or played in a dome.
The decision to host the Super Bowl in New Jersey has been a controversial one but has also opened up the possibility for other great cold weather stadiums to play host to Football’s biggest game. Stadiums such as Gillette Stadium in New England or Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The league expects next years Super Bowl to break all sorts of records from attendance to viewers to media coverage. But what happens if it snows? Like really, really snows.
The NFL is discussing contingency plans for such a scenario. Some ideas are moving the game up a day and having it on Saturday night if a storm is rolling in on Sunday, or even pushing the game until Tuesday or Wednesday if need be. However, there are major flaws with both of these plans. MetLife Stadium seats 82,566 people. It is the highest capacity stadium in the NFL and that means it will likely be the highest attended Super Bowl ever. If the day of the game changes, 82,566 people will have to change their plans. Many will be from out of town so those changes will include flight changes and hotel extensions. Further more, if a blizzard rolls into town, the chances the local airports will have to cancel flights are pretty good so that makes it much harder for fans to find their way to the game.
I’m a supporter of the location of next year’s Super Bowl because I think the cold temperature will provide the ultimate test for the league’s two best teams, but I do not doubt that the NFL is mainly relying on luck for things to go as planned. Super Bowl Saturday doesn’t have the same ring to it.