Of the many concerns about next year’s Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey, there are now doubts as to whether there can even be a halftime show because of the unpredictability of winter weather.
With the halftime entertainment becoming a spectacle in recent years (we’ve come a long way from Al Hirt, marching bands or Up With People), it requires hundreds of shock-troop roadies to get the elaborate stages set up and broken down in time for football to resume.
The New York Post reported yesterday, citing an unnamed “planning official,” that there’s no plan at the moment for what the show might look like, if it is held at all.
“It’s because of the cold weather,” that source said. “It’s not only the acts and the singers but [also] the crews that have to put the stage together. You know, the assembly has to be done a certain way. It’s choreographed and rehearsed so it can be assembled and disassembled as fast as possible. And you just can’t assemble the stage and break it down fast enough in the cold.”
But the Newark Star-Ledger countered with another source of their own, this one “with intimate knowledge of the Super Bowl XLVIII planning process,” that no decisions are close to being made.
Their report said there have been no discussions “about surrendering the highly-anticipated halftime show because of logistical concerns due to the weather.”
Frankly, it’s hard to believe that with a year to plan for a worst-case scenario, there can’t be a stage show designed to be executed in a blizzard. A Led Zeppelin reunion featuring “Immigrant Song” (“We come from the land of ice and snow”) would be particularly inspired.
The bigger question is whether there needs to be one in-stadium.
It would be a letdown for 70,000 or so on the premises, but the halftime show exists in its current form to prevent counter-programming on television for the rights-holder. So if some huge musical act was booked for a nearby arena in New York, and that show was beamed into America’s living rooms via the miracle of television, the number of people impacted would be statistically insignificant, perhaps so much so that the show is deemed not worth the bother.