Officials reassure public on handling snow during Super Bowl XLVIII

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Amid all the piles of snow in the MetLife Station in New Rutherford, Super Bowl XLVIII official reassures fans, players and the stakeholders that they are prepared for the expected snowy weather for the upcoming big game on the 2nd day of February next year.

At a press conference Wednesday, officials assured the public that snow will not interfere with the game which will be held for the first time on a cold, out-door weather in the history of the NFL.

According to the game’s committee president Al Kelly said that there are a lot of questions being asked bout the biggest upcoming big game. He wants the national audience to see that New Jersey has a lot of resources and assets that can help handle the snowy situation and have the game run smoothly.

According to MetLife Stadium president Brad Mayne said they have plenty of trucks, snow melters and tons of salts ready for deployment and disposal to clear the snow from the fields a quickly and as efficiently as possible. They even have a machine powerful enough to melt as much as 600 tons worth of snow an hour. They also have removable chutes that can funnel the snow out of the seats in the stadium and the concourse areas.

He said they must be flexible with their preparations for Super Bowl XLVIII, since Mother Nature’s wrath can get pretty unpredictable at times.

Mayne pointed out the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks match last Sunday as an example of an extreme weather in the stadium where there were 6.3 inches of snow that fell. He said, their crew has been able to clear up the thick snow just right on time for the kick off of the Giants and Seahawks game.

The officials are planning to have some 1,600 workers ready for deployment for the Super Bowl. That number is double the usual number of personnel during games that face storms.

If the storm gets worse during the time close to the Super Bowl XLIII on Feb 2, the idea of moving the game a couple of hours or days after the set schedule has also been considered.

According to NFL senior vice president of events Frank Supovitz, they might move the game on Saturday or Monday if the weather is not in their favor. He added, moving the game has always been a possible option for any Super Bowl game.

He said watching the big game on a snowy weather is really exciting, great and romantic. It would also be like a rite of passage for fans to experience watching the Super Bowl in a snowy weather. He believes that it is actually quite favorable if it snows during the game because it will make it more memorable.

Supovitz said they aim to start the game at 6:30 on Feb 2, and they will do everything in their power to make sure that they get things done.

According to transportation experts, having a snowy football field is not the only concern. Another major concern that they put on the table is the possibility that the fans can’t make it to the stadium due to extreme weather like blizzards. If the fans can’t make it to the stadium, the players would be playing the game in an empty MetLife Stadium.

According to New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation director Mitchell Moss Filling the MetLife Stadium during the Super Bowl XLVIII would heavily depend on the reliability of the rails and roads in New Jersey. He said the game could still continue. However, the organizers might have to hire mannequins to be the audiences, he added.     

Moss said a violent ice or snowstorm would definitely jeopardize transport stations, especially the airport. Both commercial and private flights will land at the Teteboro Airport, and if there is extreme weather during the days close so the big game, flights may be delayed or cancelled. Icy and slippery roads would also be a hindrance for the buses to ferry fans to the stadium.

Last February there was a Nor’easter, a macro-scale storm, which ran along the upper East Coast of the United States of America and the Atlantic side of Canada. That horrible weather has crippled the entire New Jersey region with its transit suspending busses all over the state. There were less transportation during those times to transport passengers and to help clear the roads and pavements.

New Jersey Department of Transport Deputy Commissioner Joseph Mrozek reassured the public that this problem would definitely be addressed to push through with a successful Super Bowl XLVIII despite the possible snowy weather.

He said they could deploy up to 820 vehicles to transport people and clean up the roads. They will also prepare about 60,000 tons of salt to clear the snow within a 30-mile radius around the MetLife Stadium.

If the temperature drops below freezing conditions, the state has also prepared resources to treat salt. They have over a quarter million gallons of brine and over 850,000 gallons of liquid calcium to address this condition.   

Mrozek reassured the public saying, they have the manpower, the trucks and the resources to handle any major event.

AccuWeather even created a website to specifically answer questions about the weather during the Super Bowl game on Feb 2, 2014. People can visit this forecasting company’s website at www.willitsnow.com. This website was launched Wednesday, just 45 days from the big game. On the site, people will see data forecasting that there is a 30 percent possibility that it will snow during the big game on Feb 2. This site will be updated every day. During the Super Bowl XLVIII big day on Feb 2, 2014, it will provide blow-by-blow data about the weather every hour.

Farmers Almanac, on the other hand, predicted that the Super Bowl game, which will possibly be the first to be played under the snow, would be a “Storm Bowl.” They used words such as “biting cold,” or “bitterly cold,” and even “piercing cold.”

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