Can Bad Weather Affect NJ Super Bowl? [AUDIO]
Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled to launch with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, and as long as the weather isn't absolutely horrible, that plan should remain intact.
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, along with other officials associated with the big game, unveiled a comprehensive weather preparedness plan on Wednesday, given the fact that approximately 400,000 visitors are expected to come to the region for game-related events.
The Meadowlands matchup is being touted as the first-ever "mass transit Super Bowl," as public transportation will be key for getting folks to the game. Parking spaces have been cut by more than half.
"There may be no way to predict the weather -- which could range from sunshine and mild temperatures to blizzard-like conditions -- but we can be prepared for any and everything," said Al Kelly, president and CEO of the Host Committee.
Kelly noted this is the first Super Bowl to be hosted by two different states, meaning even more assets are available in the case of poor conditions. Super Bowl XLVIII will also be the first one to be played at an open-air stadium in a cold weather site.
Within a 30-mile radius of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Turnpike Authority have more than 800 trucks ready to spread salt or plow snow. The agencies also have nearly 60,000 tons of salt available within the same radius.
"Our job is to plan for the worst and ensure that this cold-weather, outdoor stadium Super Bowl week comes off without a hitch," said Joseph Mrozek, NJDOT Deputy Commissioner.
Sanitation assets from New York City include 440 salt spreaders and thousands of plowable garbage trucks.
On site at the stadium, a system of snow chutes is designed to direct snow out of the seating areas and into massive snow melters, one of which can go through up to 600 tons of snow per hour.
"MetLife Stadium has handled multiple snowstorms since opening in 2010, and just last week, seamlessly handled a storm prior to the Giants-Seahawks game," said Brad Mayne, president and CEO of MetLife Stadium. "Come time of Super Bowl XLVIII, our experienced crews will be prepared to clear snow and get the field ready to play as they always do."
Snow is not a guarantee for the game, but the same can't be said for frigid temperatures. Those attending the game will be greeted at their seats with a "warm welcome package," including earmuffs, texting gloves, lip balm and hand warmers.
Frank Supovitz, senior vice president of events for the National Football League, admitted certain weather conditions could result in a "change of plans" for New Jersey's Super Bowl.
"There are contingency plans for multiple different days," Supovitz said. "It can potentially be on a Saturday or it could be on the Monday or Tuesday…depending on what we're seeing coming."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would make the ultimate decision, and Supovitz said that decision would be made at the "latest possible moment."