The National Football League is holding the Super Bowl outdoors in a cold-weather state for the first time, and that means the game could be the first-ever Super Bowl played in snow.
Officials at MetLife stadium in New Jersey say they'll be ready for anything, and the NFL said, if necessary, there could be changes to when Super Bowl XLVIII is played.
On Wednesday game organizers showed off their ice melters, salt dispensers and snow removers, and reminded nay-sayers that teams in the Northeast prepare for snow all season long.
“Despite the fact the world's greatest event is going to be held here, we still know how to clear snow," said NFL Special Events Vice President Frank Supovitz. "We keep the markets open and schools open most snow days. We will do a good job Super Bowl week as well.”
Supovitz has been managing major NFL events for nearly a decade. He said officials are even prepared to move the game to Saturday or Monday if faced with an extreme blizzard.
“We've been in situations where snow has fallen ahead of the Super Bowl," he said. "It is our objective to kick off the ball at 6:30 on Feb. 2nd. But, if it’s necessary due to matters of public safety or there are impracticalities, then rescheduling scenarios have to be considered.”
If the 2014 Farmers Almanac has it right, a blizzard could hit the Northeast on Super Bowl Sunday. It is forecasting "stormy, heavy, rain, and snow" that weekend.
Two weeks ago, heavy snowfall during five NFL games renewed concerns about Super Bowl weather planning.
The game has historically been played in warmer climates or domed stadiums, so the average temperature at kickoff is 66 degrees, but in 2010, the league waived requirements for a minimum temperature of 50 degrees, or a roof on the stadium, which enabled New Jersey to host the game.
"I think everybody had the same reaction at first -- ‘Oh my gosh, this is not a good idea,’” said Phil Simms, who let the New York Giants to a Super Bowl victory in 1987. He is now a football analyst for CBS Sports.
"But, as I thought about it for a few days, I said, ‘I am kind of glad I didn't say anything,’” Simms continued. “I think it is a great idea, just because I think it will be a different experience for the fans who are at the games.”
A cold Super Bowl XLVIII could raise comparisons to the iconic 1967 championship game, known as the “Ice Bowl,” where temperatures at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., went down to 13 degrees below zero.