6 injured: Ice, snow fall off Super stadium
DALLAS - The bad weather burying Super Bowl week in North Texas has become more than just an inconvenience.
Snow and ice slid off the roof of Cowboys Stadium on Friday afternoon, injuring six people just two days before the NFL's championship game is to be played at the $1.3-billion facility. Two of the injured were listed in stable condition with a shoulder injury and a possible concussion. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, the Arlington Fire Department announced.
The incident capped a week in which arctic weather and snowfalls unusual for the area brought the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to a standstill and put a damper on many of the festivities associated with the run-up to the big game.
Although the stadium was not open to the public Friday, there were crews there putting the finishing touches on it for the NFL's biggest showcase. All stadium entrances, except for a truck tunnel, were closed once the snow and ice began to fall from the retractable roof.
"The likelihood is they'll have to get somebody up there to get the snow off as soon as possible," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "They likely will be doing that in the next 24 hours."
The Dallas area was hit by about three inches of snow Thursday night into Friday morning, and temperatures during the day never went above freezing.
This isn't the first time this season the NFL has had to deal with weather issues at a stadium, even ones with roofs.
In December, when snow built up on the roof of the Metrodome and eventually caused its collapse, the Vikings-Giants game had to be delayed and eventually moved to Detroit. The Vikings played their final home game at the University of Minnesota.
Also in December, a Vikings game in Philadelphia was postponed for two days because a blizzard made for dangerous conditions for fans to get to the game.
While the weather has yet to affect the Super Bowl itself - other than forcing the Packers to move their practices from an outdoor field to an indoor facility at a nearby high school - it has prompted many to scratch their heads over the NFL's decision to award the 2014 Super Bowl to New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Not only is that stadium in a cold-weather city, it does not have a roof.
Next year's Super Bowl will be played in Indianapolis, another cold-weather city. The stadium there has a roof, however. Just to be safe, the host committee for the Indianapolis bid was here in Dallas handing out gear that could come in handy this year and next: ski caps.