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.