Super Bowl XLVIII: Blizzard in New York a year before staging NFL Super Bowl
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: February 10, 2013 2:57pm
Organisers of next year's Super Bowl in New York insist they are not concerned about the possibility of adverse weather conditions ruining the game, with the area suffering from a huge winter storm.
Almost exactly 12 months from the first ever outdoor cold weather Super Bowl, and a blizzard struck the north east of America with Boston and New York being hit with heavy snow and strong winds.
It was a timely reminder of what a gamble the NFL has taken in awarding the game to the Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey which is home to both the New York Giants and New York Jets, as the game could suffer badly with weather.
All but three of the 47 Super Bowls have been held in warm weather cities, and even cold weather ones were played in domed stadiums to protect the field of play, but there will be no such protection for the open-aired MetLife Stadium come February 2 next year and Super Bowl XLVIII.
The MetLife Stadium will host next year's Super Bowl
The NFL insist the game is a cold weather one and that some of the most memorable games have been outdoor ones affected by snow - but these have never been spectacles due to the standard of football played in them, while the fans have also had to shiver through in the stands.
Host committee president Al Kelly insists that they are fully prepared for some snow next year and that it will not affect the field in any way.
"The main objective of the NFL and the Host Committee is to be prepared for any and everything, with regard to weather," said Kelly. "We have been planning for all possibilities and are creating various contingency plans to deal with each potential situation.
"As it pertains to a clean-up effort, MetLife Stadium has excellent snow-clearing procedures. The Host Committee is currently working with Stadium officials to enhance its current top-notch capabilities. Both states - New York and New Jersey - and New York City have strong track records preparing for and handling adverse weather conditions and we have every confidence that we will be prepared."
Perhaps what should be more of a concern than the actual game itself is the overall experience for fans, who were treated to a superb time both in the game and the build-up this year in New Orleans, which has hosted the event ten times now.
With mild weather and all the amenities and celebrations within easy walking distance, the Big Easy provided a week-long celebration for fans - and many are concerned a freezing cold and congested New York City would not provide the same experience.
Also, any severe weather could cause cancellations in flights, which has happened this weekend, disrupted public transport and blocked roads - and should that also happen during Super Bowl week it could cause a huge upset.
Snow and ice affected the Super Bowl in Dallas two years ago, with fans struggling to get around in the build-up to the game, but at least then the game itself was played indoors.
It remains to be seen what the NFL and host committee will have planned for fans during the week, but this is very much a leap into the unknown, and if successful it could lead the way for other cold weather Super Bowls with Denver in particular already revealing a plan to bid for the game in the future.