Snow could reschedule Super Bowl
NEW YORK — With snow plows and tractors in the background and a gigantic snow-melting machine ready to tackle a behemoth pile of snow in a MetLife Stadium parking lot, Super Bowl XLVIII organizers on Wednesday attempted to reassure the public that everything will be done to stage the game on time and in relative comfort when the big game comes to the New York/New Jersey area on Feb. 2.
And just in case there are significant weather-related issues, officials are prepared to re-schedule the game if necessary, a contingency that has been considered all along.
“I am here to tell you the good news is that we’re ready. This region is indeed ready,” said Al Kelly, president and CEO of the Super Bowl XLVIII host committee. “With hundreds of thousands of visitors expected into the region and about 80,000 people attending the game and other events, we have a comprehensive plan that will ensure snow removal on all designated travel routes during Super Bowl week and on the day of the game.”
But if there is a severe enough weather event, the game’s organizers are ready to move the game to a different day.
“There are contingency plans for multiple different days,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events. “There’s a potential of a move-up scenario. There’s a potential of a move-back scenario. It could be potentially on a Saturday, or it could be on a Monday or Tuesday after.”
Kelly said the NFL and government agencies have coordinated during the last several months on a plan to deal with any weather contingency that might arise, and acknowledged that a significant weather event could result in a rescheduling of the game.
But the odds favor the game kicking off as planned. As Brad Mayne, the CEO of MetLife Stadium, reminded reporters attending a news conference, an NFL game at both MetLife Stadium and Giants Stadium has never been postponed. That goes back to 1976, the year Giants Stadium opened.
“If you look back at the history of Giants Stadium, as well as here at MetLife Stadium, we’ve played every game that’s been scheduled on the day that it was scheduled to be played,” he said.
But there are contingency plans in the event a change needs to be made because of weather issues.
“There are rescheduling scenarios for 256 regular-season games each year. Same thing for Super Bowls since the beginning of Super Bowls,” Supovitz told reporters. “We’ve had those in place. 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. It is our objective to kick off the ball at 6:30 on Feb. 2, and we are going to expend every effort to make sure that gets done.”
If it is later and fans are forced to stay in hotel rooms beyond their expected stay, Supovitz doesn’t believe that would be an issue.
“If there is such a cataclysmic event as it would cause people to have to come to the game on Monday, nobody’s getting to the hotels,” Supovitz said. “They’ll already be booked, and nobody’s coming to New York or New Jersey, because they won’t be able to get here. It would take a weather event of that magnitude to delay the game.”
Supovitz would actually like to see snow during the game.
“It would be kind of fun to watch a Super Bowl in the snow,” he said. “I think watching NFL football in the snow is really romantic and it’s great and it’s exciting, and if you’ve ever done it, you know that. It’s also a rite of passage for you as a fan to have done it at least once, and this is a Super Bowl. So this is going to be amazing. I think it would be better if it snowed a little bit during the game. I think it’ll just make it that much more memorable. Let it snow.”