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NFL prepared to move Super Bowl XLVIII to another day if snow threatens the game

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner

Super Bowl Sunday could easily become Super Bowl Saturday, Super Bowl Monday, or Super Bowl Tuesday if a snowstorm threatens to take over at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.

Super Bowl XLVIII marks the first time this event will be played in an outdoor, cold weather site. The NFL traditionally has chosen venues where weather is not a factor, like warm states or domes, but rewarded the New York/New Jersey area for opening a new stadium in 2010. That has led to a lot of speculation about what might occur if a snowstorm hits the Tri-state area around the Super Bowl.

One of the contingency plans is to move the Super Bowl to Saturday, back a few days, or even postponing it one week.

“There are postponement scenarios or rescheduling scenarios for 256 regular-season games each year. Same thing for Super Bowls since the beginning of Super Bowls. We’ve had those in place,” Frank Supovitz, the league’s senior vice president of events, told the New York Daily News. “The fact is we’ve been in cold weather cities before, we’ve been in situations where snow has fallen ahead of the Super Bowl.”

The cold weather cities he is referring to are Pontiac, Mich., Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Detroit, but all of those games were played in domes. This situation is different.

Supovitz said the decision to switch game day would belong to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He added that determination would be made as late as possible to keep the game on Sunday.

“There are contingency plans for multiple days,” Supovitz told the Daily News. “Public safety is going to be the most key concern. We will consult with public safety on both sides of the river.”

The field will be covered prior to the game, and if it snows during the contest, the yard lines will be cleared but nothing else, much like what occurred when the Detroit Lions played in Philadelphia recently. Supovitz said trying to clear the entire field could create an advantage for another team.

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(USA Today Sports Images)

In addition, a snow melter will be deployed outside of MetLife Stadium.

This snow melter will be deployed for the super bowl. It melts 600,000 tons of snow per hour pic.twitter.com/6rtYCxrVwd

— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) December 18, 2013

There are 60,000 tons of salt within 30 miles of MetLife stadium. Could have used some of that in Dallas few yrs back

— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) December 18, 2013

The NFL will provide fans with warmth, too.

It is interesting to hear about these contingency plans, but it might take more than a blizzard to move this game.

Moving the game would create chaos for thousands of people who will spend a lot of money to attend Super Bowl XLVIII. Imagine scores of fans trying to alter their hotel and airline reservations at one time, or how irate some might become if a change meant they could not watch the game at MetLife Stadium. Not to mention the advertisers who spent millions and now must hope they get the same audience on a Monday.

Anyone who plans to attend the game should invest in thermals, warm socks, and nice gloves.

And maybe some travel insurance.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

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