Winter weather threat to New Jersey Super Bowl? NFL and host committee say they are 'ready for any and everything'
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Last weekend's massive winter storm understandably revived talk about how the NFL would deal with something like that before or during Super Bowl XLVIII next Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium -- the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city.
In short, the league will have a detailed plan in place to handle heavy snow or other bad weather in and around the New York area. If things get really nasty, according to sources quoted by Sports Business Journal, one option would be delaying the game. According to SBJ's sources, it could even be moved up to Saturday, Feb. 1, to get the jump on a dire forecast.
But Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, said Tuesday: "We plan on playing the game as scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday. We would be prepared for all contingencies, just as we were in New Orleans and the 46 previous Super Bowls. If we had to make adjustments, we'd make them at the appropriate time.''
A storm that arrives in the week leading up to the game would affect Super Bowl-related social and business activities. A storm on the day of the game would affect the ability of fans to arrive safely, as well as the competitive fairness of the game itself.
Any decision to delay the game would come from the NFL, not the host committee. But host committee CEO Al Kelly said: "The main objective of the NFL and the host committee is to be prepared for any and everything, with regard to weather. We have been planning for all possibilities and are creating various contingency plans to deal with each potential situation.
"As it pertains to a cleanup effort, MetLife Stadium has excellent snow-clearing procedures. The host committee is currently working with stadium officials to enhance its current top-notch capabilities. Both states -- New York and New Jersey -- and New York City have strong track records preparing for and handling adverse weather conditions and we have every confidence that we will be prepared."
There already has been one casualty of the first New York-area Super Bowl. For the first time in two decades the popular NFL Experience will not be held this time because there simply was nowhere to put it.
But many elements of the NFL Experience, which features interactive activities usually tied to sponsors, will be recreated on "Super Bowl Boulevard,'' a 10-block section of Broadway in midtown Manhattan that will be closed for the week leading up to the game.