Football is a game that was meant to be played in cold weather. But this cold? It’s a good thing we have dome stadiums.
As the Philadelphia Eagles gear up to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, the polar vortex will be gearing up as well. Lobes of cold air are pinwheeling around a central point in the vortex, located over Hudson Bay. As each of the lobes passes through the Lower 48, it will bring frigid, Arctic air with it, and temperatures will plummet.
Highs on Super Bowl Sunday will be 20-30 degrees below average for this time of year from Minnesota to north Texas. In Minneapolis itself, where Super Bowl LII will be played, forecast models are suggesting the temperature will be 22 degrees colder than normal. The high is only forecast to be in the single digits — perhaps as low as 2 degrees.
That would make Super Bowl LII the coldest on record. It’s a good thing it’s going to be played in a dome.
As it stands, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the 1982 game in Pontiac, Mich., is the record-holder at 16 degrees. It, too, was played under a roof.
1982 — 49ers vs. Bengals in Pontiac, Mich. — 16 degrees (dome)
1992 — Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills in Minneapolis — 26 degrees (dome)
2006 — Steelers vs. Seahawks in Detroit — 33 degrees (dome)
2000 — Rams vs. Titans in Atlanta — 35 degrees (dome)
1972 — Cowboys vs. Dolphins in New Orleans — 43 degrees
We have to look back to 1972 to find the coldest non-dome Super Bowl, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins in New Orleans. The NFL probably thought they were in for a warm game by picking New Orleans — little did they know a cold-air outbreak was slated for the same week.
The colder cities have wised up over the decades, building new stadiums with roofs rather than leaving them open-air. Fans and players alike will be grateful for the shelter this weekend in the Twin Cities.