NFL planning contingencies for weather issues at Super Bowl


The winter storm that hit the northeast last week highlighted the concerns that have previously kept the Super Bowl from being played in outdoor stadiums in cold weather environments.

With weather issues a possibility with Super Bowl XLVIII being held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the NFL is already developing contingency plans if the game is directly affected due to adverse conditions.

According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the NFL is considering several options that include delaying the game several days later or even moving the game up to Saturday if an especially nasty forecast is the picture.

Several logistical problems are presented if the game has to be delayed and not held on Sunday. Fans that will have planned on leaving on Monday will be forced to change their flights and hotel reservations to stay longer. If the game has to be postponed due to inclement weather, it’s reasonable to assume the airports will have had to cancel many flights as well furthering the logjam of displaced travelers.

“You know it will be a lot cooler, but there will be a lot of people and transportation issues regardless,” said Jeff Miller, NFL V.P. of security. When you have a lot of moving parts and large crowds, you are moving on transportation systems already overloaded with daily commuters, so you’ve got some issues to deal with.”

By agreeing to host a Super Bowl in a cold climate, the NFL has brought these scenarios into the picture as possibilities. The league will have to keep its fingers crossed and hope for a little luck that the weather won’t be the storyline of the week next February.  If the weather does become an issue, the league appears to be getting a jump-start on the best way to handle a severe winter storm.

Then again, the best way to handle a severe winter storm could be to not try to stage a game in the middle of one.

65 responses to “NFL planning contingencies for weather issues at Super Bowl

  1. Nothing like Jersey in early February. I heard they already sold out of passes to “The Situation’s” Super Bowl Party.

  2. If Super Bowl Sunday ends up being any day other than a Sunday, then there is no doubt left that Goodell is an utter failure as the commissioner. What’s next, are we going to elect a president that paints the white house orange?

  3. I know playing the Super Bowl on any day other than Sunday is blasphemous… but my Super Hangover is totally on board with this Saturday business.

  4. It should be in L.A. every year. They don’t need a team year round and it’ll keep the second largest market involved in the league on a yearly basis. It’s a neutral site that’s 70 degrees and sunny year round. Get it done already.

  5. I am rooting for the worst possible weather for this Super Bowl. I want traffic and logistal nightmares, 127 people in the stands and a terrible, sloppy game. I want this Super Bowl to be the biggest disaster ever, a total failure that results in the firing of anyone who’s stupid idea this was.

  6. I’m not looking forward to an entire year of non-stories being written about a Super Bowl potentially played in winter elements…

    Could someone (possibly a journalist) explain how these “contingencies” differ from any “contingencies” surrounding an NFC or AFC Championship game played in a cold weather city, two weeks before any given Super Bowl (i.e. in the dead of winter)?

    The NFC and AFC Championship games are always played in mid-late January with the possibility of being located in a cold weather city. Can someone explain why that is business as usual, while a Super Bowl played in cold weather city is the end of the world as we know it? Because I feel fine.

  7. Much ado about nothing to be honest. Why wouldn’t a blizzard like this be an issue if it were to hit a city with an indoor stadium like Indianapolis or Detroit ? The whole city comes to a standstill in such scenarios.

  8. To delay an nfl game is as rare as us dolphins making a run at the championship. For a snow storm to delay or cancel a game it would have to be a freakish one. Not living in that part of the world i don’t know how common the storm you guys have just endured is, it made the news over here in the UK. If something like that happened to us over here we would done for. Our grandparents battled through Hitler dropping bombs on us but these days when it snows we are stuffed. Earthquakes and hurricanes have been known to interfere with games but snow no chance everything will be fine.

  9. The game cannot be moved up a day. That’s crazy. Teams cannot prepare to play without knowing in advance the date of the game.

  10. Analysts calculated that having an 80,000 person snowball fight in poor light and icy conditions would result in about 9 persons losing an eye. Of course the odds are far less that any one person would lose both eyes.

  11. I know it’s New york, but seriously the NFL really messed this one up by giving NY the super bowl.

  12. Why stress so much over the weather? If they want to play the game outdoors then play it as scheduled just like any other regular season or playoff game. The weather is going to make this Super Bowl fun, stop ruining it with the stress.

  13. Nothing wrong with football in terrible weather. Personally, I like a game in the elements…

    A Super Bowl on a sleeting messy freezing cold day, a great game 4th and goal from the 1 with no time on the clock for a shot at the win.

    While I’m at home cozy stuffing my face with artichoke dip and wings it sounds perfect! The prospect of bad weather actually makes the game more exciting to me.

  14. People don’t realize that it might not be about it hitting during Superbowl weekend. Even if a blizzard hits the week before the Superbowl it will create untold problems with coordinating personnel and equipment in and around Manhattan.

    It will be done but it won’t be as easy as it was this year. Despite the power outage and the two people sneaking in the Superbowl the NFL will be having dreams of the NOLA superbowl and how everything went smoothly only to be awakened by the nightmare reality that they chose to bring thousands of people into an already crowded area with potential snow storms making matters more difficult.

  15. Football is supposed to be played on grass, in the snow, rain, mud,sleet & heat! There shouldn’t be dome stadiums either or astroturf.

    The reason they play the superbowl in the dome or in warm places is to accomodate for the rich peoples money.

    Majority of fans during season are hard working middle class. Then when the big game comes the NFL takes care of the rich!

  16. Gotta love Commissar Goodell and the NFL for the hypocracy. They tell Miami that they need a dome because it rained a few years ago, yet simply give the Super Bowl to New Jersey?

    The hubris demonstrated by Goodell and the league is unprecedented in the history of professional sports. Worst commissioner ever!

  17. This sounds like one major pain in the ass.Stop trying to accomodate every NFL city.If you want to host a Super Bowl in a cold climate city then build a stadium that can be covered with the press of a button.

  18. “The league will have to keep their fingers crossed that they get a little lucky and that the weather won’t be the storyline of the week next February.”

    So our hopes for a regularly-scheduled Super Bowl depend on the weather in New Jersey not being too bad?

    Good thing New Jersey is known for its wonderful weather in February…

  19. To me the weather isn’t the issue. Anytime there is snow or bitter cold in a playoff game it seems to go down as a classic. The real problem lies in logistics. Northern Jersey and NYC is massively congested virtually 24/7. The press day will be stationed at the Javitz Center, I believe. There is no way a person can travel from Giants Stadium (yes I will always call it that) to midtown in less than an hour. It has taken me four hours at times just to get into the city. This, to me, is the biggest hurdling block.

  20. A few years back, when I learned that NY/NJ was going to host the 2014 Super Bowl, I figured with the Dolphins luck, that this would be the year they would finally make it back to the Super Bowl only to have it played in a snowstorm/below freezing temperatures against a team like Green Bay Chicago, or most likely the Giants.

    Well, the good news I guess is that Dolphins fans won’t have to worry about that potential embarrassment, now will we?

  21. they could have a open air afc/nfc championship games 2 weeks earlier in that MetLife Stadium so whats the big deal about having a sb there , attending a sb is only for the big wigs anyways , snow in hd is freaking awesome for the average fan .

  22. Game should go on as scheduled and regardless of the weather conditions. Might as well put flags on the players as well. Smdh

  23. Oh my gosh….the humanity. Am assuming their contingency includes nipple bandages for the halftime performers in case it gets really cold.

  24. When i was a kid the first snowfall demanded a football game. In the summer our backyard was the lowest in the neighborhood and would retain water after a good rainfall. If my mother only knew we drag the hose out and water it down to keep it wet for football.

  25. Who cares if the pink hats and golf clappers get to the game or not?

    I hope it snows a lot during the game. It will make it much more fun to watch than any rain-filled mudbog in Miami.

  26. Why plans at all? It’s a football game like any of the others. If it snows; it snows! Have the game in the snow. If the rich people can’t land at the nearby airport in their private jets; they can drive like everybody else. Or they can sell their tickets, probably at a profit; and hide the profit in a off-short Caymen Island account. And a middle class person who has to save for years can go in their place. Win-Win for everyone!!!

  27. Here’s a better contigency plan: Don’t hold the Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in the northeast in the first week of February.

    This is what happens when the league allows itself to be cowed into letting New York City host a Super Bowl. Roger Goodell has done some stupid things as commissioner, but this one is going to end up at the top of the list.

  28. Who thought it would be a good idea to play the Super Bowl, in Jersey, in February??? I’m betting it’s the same guy who wants to expand the size of the field. Or maybe they were gambling on global warming creating 70 degree temps in the north east by 2014.

  29. I am hoping for snow deeper than an elephant’s back to hit the tri-state area that will create the worst Super Bowl in history. All flights will be grounded for 6 days, fans and teams will be trapped in their hotels for days on end with no actual game played until 9:00 AM on Wednesday. Other than the 2 teams playing, this game will be played in front of fans that live around New Giants Stadium and can walk there.

    Mean while in Tampa, the skies will be clear and sunny with an afternoon high of 77 degrees. Instead of watching the Roger Goodell production “The Adventures of Holding a Cold Weather Stupid Bowl”, we’ll go to the beach and hang out, laughing at the NFL for throwing out common sense when they gave this game to New Giants Stadium.

    And just before the first flakes start falling on the Saturday before the game, Goodell will announce that Denver Donkey Stadium will be hosting a cold weather Stupid Bowl in 5 years.

  30. I don’t understand why people want games to be played in the South. I want each city to enjoy hosting the Super Bowl. Teams like New England, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and the NY Giants are teams consistently in the Super Bowl over the last 10 years. I can bet you a lot of money that they typically play in freezing sub 32 degree temperatures for most of the season. I simply do not understand why these teams are forced to play in that weather all year long, only to play in games that are 70-80 degree weather. If these teams get to the Super Bowl with this weather, I don’t see why they can’t play in the Super Bowl with this kind of weather.

    Maybe with a snowy 22 degree Super Bowl, tickets won’t cost $1,600 from the secondary market (let’s be serious, unless you know people within the league, or you happened to get lucky with the NFL’s draw and/or the Super Bowl teams season ticket draw, you’re not getting face value tickets) for the nosebleeds against the top of the stadium wall. It will actually be priced at an amount middle class fans that pay hard earned money to attend games all season long they can afford to attend.

  31. They should really just suck it up and play the game. Personally, I’d love to see a Super Bowl played in the snow!

  32. This is stupid. If you don’t want the possibility of a snowy Super Bowl then don’t have the game up north. If it snowed it wouldn’t be the end of the world, they play in snow all the time.

    Embrace the potential of a snowstorm or just keep having games in warm weather cities or domes. Personally, I kind of like the Super Bowl in a cold weather stadium. Why should the most important game of the year be the only game where bad weather is never a factor? Playing bad weather games is a cool part of football – embrace it. Not to mention that it also gives all NFL cities a chance to host the big game – which I think is cool as well.

  33. No no nfl, you wanted this foolishness. Remember the movie Airplane, “they bought their tickets…..they knew what they were getting into…I say, let ’em crash.” lol

  34. how did things turn out in minnesota in 1992? or in michigan in 1982 and 2006? those are colder regions than new jersey.

  35. Playing in the snow is one thing, accommodating the thousands of media members and other travelers during a snow storm is another.

    Seems the worst part is having regional airports close.

    To delay or play it earlier will also ruin the game for sports bars, people’s SB parties and the like and won’t advertisers want cheaper rates for a game played on a Wednesday?

  36. And the halftime show will be Goodell selling ice cubes to the Eskimos, or as they call it in NJ, ‘The Ice Capades.’

  37. Nevermind the weather – last time I tailgated at that stadium I had to wee on a highway with my ding dong facing oncoming traffic because there weren’t enough Porta Potties. Fix that first!

  38. Plan for contingencies, let the fans no in advance what they are, go ahead with the game.

    The odds of blizzard happening that week are low. No different than a blizzard in the Pittsburg, Denver or NE the week before. It really doesn’t happen often. Expect the worst hope for the best.

    It’s still a fun idea to do once every 5 years or something.

  39. Unless you live in one of the warm weather cities who depend on a SB every 5 years to keep your state’s economy afloat, average joe fans should be putting aside their anti-New York bias and championing this SB instead of hoping that it crashes and burns.

    Corporate fatcats and those dorks you see in the stands sitting their to promote a new show will NOT be sitting in Giants Stadium in mid-February. All of those tickets are going on the secondary market for regular fans which is what this game is supposed to be all about. For the first time since the 58′ championship game (the “Greatest Game Ever Played” game), there will be a buyer’s market for the tickets instead of a sellers’ market.

    If any of you cold weather fans ever hope to see a SB in your stadiums, you really should be rooting for a success of all successes for this one even if it means putting aside your NY hatred.

  40. Well, we have had earthquakes during the World Series, and that was warm weather, so why not try the cold weather? Playoffs clear up to 2 weeks prior to the Super Bowl are still play outside with no contingencies, so man up. Glad to see someone besides the normal stadiums get a chance!

  41. the chance of a blizzard in nj is slim. it WILL most likely be cold, which is what playoff football is all about! and the show should and will go on, with or without the fatcats promoting their shows. halftime show? the most likely wardrobe malfunction will be someone’s fur coat blowing open!

    but everyone, PLEASE take note, the game is being played in NJ, not nyc! nothing i hate more than watching nyg or nyj home games and watching the networks show video of downtown manhattan, like they are filming from the stadium rooftop.

    and lighten up on the commish. the nfl is still the gold std for team sports. they play 16 games and make more $ than the nba and nhl combined. the nhl should take lessons on how to successfully run a league.

  42. Before the Super Bowl, before the world championship became something other than a football game, the game was played in whatever conditions happened. What if the Ice Bowl, a game many refer to as the greatest game ever played, had been postponed? It’s a FOOTBALL game, not a concert. We have become so soft!

  43. This is one of the few times I like what Goddel is doing. Every NFL franchise should have an oportunity to host the Super Bowl, especially the Green Bay Packers. The worse the weather is, the more epic the game will be. By the way, the difference in weather between the 3rd weekend in January verses the 1st weekend in February is about… It can be absolutely brutal cold and or snowing, or near 50 degrees in the midst of a Jan/Feb thaw. I’ve seen it all.

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