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Feb. 2 is first outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl
MetLife Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLVIII, has everything the NFL wants in a venue, with one exception: climate control. The NY/NJ Super Bowl Committee is proudly promoting the Feb. 2 NFL title game as the first outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl.
MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010 and is home to both the New York Giants and New York Jets, has everything but a roof. In terms of capacity it can put more than 82,000 fans in seats. That’s more than any other NFL stadium and is second only to Washington’s FedEx field, that with standing room, can hold 85,000 football fans. MetLife Stadium has more than 10,000 club seats and 218 luxury suites. It was built with numerous “green” initiatives involving everything from water conservation to nearby wetland protection.
Transportation to the venue is as simple as it gets. Fans from New York City and surrounding suburbs in New York and New Jersey (and even Connecticut) can hop on either the New Jersey Turnpike or choose between train and bus options. But once they get there, at least in February, they’d better be prepared for cold weather. Or, should they?
Average temperatures for East Rutherford, New Jersey, in early February hover around 40 degrees for a high and 24 degrees for a low. That’s not bad football weather by any means. Like anywhere else, however, there are extremes of both warmer and colder temperatures. The former Giants Stadium, which existed next door to MetLife, was known for high winds, and in the Northeast in February, anything is possible when it comes to snowfall. Imagine a big nor’easter bearing down on the East Coast around kickoff time.
The NFL, and especially Commissioner Roger Goodell, rolled the dice when they awarded MetLife Stadium Super Bowl XLVIII. The New York metro area is steeped in football history and the city is an obvious attraction for all the formalities surrounding the big game. Other than a domed stadium, it’s the perfect venue for all the fanfare surrounding the Super Bowl, even if it’s not in a warmer climate.
The NFL, meanwhile, will keep their fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates. And what if she doesn’t?
Most agree that the season’s biggest game should be played on a neutral field with no adverse conditions. But then again, as Northeast natives know, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see another Ice Bowl such as what took place in Green Bay in 1967, or in more recent memory, the 2001 Snow Bowl, which was highlighted by Tom Brady’s famous tuck rule play.
Those were playoff games, but with the Super Bowl in MetLife Stadium, in February, a similar weather event could make sports history.
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