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It’s a good thing the Super Bowl wasn’t scheduled to be played this week in New Jersey.
A huge winter storm dumped about a foot of snow at MetLife Stadium, where Super Bowl XLVIII will be played on Feb. 2.
Thousands of flights were canceled around the nation because of the storm. Imagine that happening next week as Seahawks fans are trying to get to the game.
Meteorologist Eric Fisher says the frigid temperatures that are following this storm could hang around for a while.
“We’re talking about bitter cold that should stretch for at least the next seven to 10 days,” says Fisher.
What happens if another storm hits New Jersey closer to game time? Eric Grubman is the Vice President of Business Operations for the NFL and he tells ESPN, “There’s hundreds and hundreds of trucks, there’s 50 or 60,000 tons of salt being stock-piled within 30 miles. There’s a couple hundred (tons) of this calcium chloride brine that the experts use to soften the impact on the roads even before they begin to clear it.”
Grubman says they’ve made contingency plans for just about anything the weather can throw at them, and the plan is still to kick the game off at 6:30 EST on Sunday the 2nd.
But, “If that is impossible for whatever set of reasons, whatever set of weather conditions or states of emergencies or whatever, we have contingency plans to move it earlier in the day, later in the day, earlier in the week, later in the week. So we can play the game Friday, Saturday, Sunday, just about any time. We can play the game Monday.”
Great for the NFL and great for the teams playing, but what about the fans?
Could you imagine the uproar if people who spent their next two house payments or raided their kids’ college fund to make it to this game were shut out by a scheduling change?
The NFL would never hear the end of it.
But Grubman says moving the game is a last resort. “What goes into whether deciding to do it – first of all – public safety. There’s a risk of that, and if we’re advised by the authorities that that’s the case, then we’ve got to seriously consider moving the game.”
The current weather forecast for Super Bowl Sunday is cold and windy. Highs in the mid 30’s. Lows in the upper teens. There is a 30 percent chance of snow or rain and winds of at least 20 miles an hour.
Certainly not ideal conditions for the fans.
But Grubman says every decision about this game is based on what’s best for those attending.
“What it comes down to is, can we provide the safe environment in the stadium? Can law enforcement and the transit authorities and everyone else provide the safe environment to and from the stadium?”
The NFL has meteorologists and other experts working 24 hours a day to track the weather and put together the best forecast.
If you see a storm coming for Super Bowl Sunday, prepare for the game to be moved. The NFL wants to play the game before any storm moves into the area.