IRVING, Texas (AP) — Check the antifreeze, grab the mittens, make sure the airport's not snowed in.
We're going to the Super Bowl.
In New Jersey!
NFL owners voted Tuesday, May 25 to put the 48th Super Bowl in the new $1.6 billion Meadowlands Stadium that this season will become home to the New York Jets and Giants. It's the first time the league has gone to a cold weather site that doesn't have a dome and, until now, those places couldn't even bid on the big game.
The league made an exception for the New York area, and New York only. But just a few years ago, the NHL experimented with an outdoor game on New Year's Day, and it was such a success that teams now fight to host what's become an annual event.
“We believe the owners have the faith in us that 3 1/2 years from now we’ll put on a remarkable event,” Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said on the NFL Network. “The greatest game in the world will be played on the greatest stage in the world.”
For all the hoopla on putting the Super Bowl in the nation's prime media market, it wasn't a slam dunk. It took four votes by NFL owners to pick New Jersey over two Florida cities, Miami and Tampa. Miami was eliminated after the second ballot.
If the NFL decides to wait and see how this foray into the great outdoors in winter goes, it could be until about 2019 or 2020 to try again because it takes a year or two to put together a bid for a game that's another four years away.
The slogan for New York's bid is “Make Some History.” The first piece likely to be made is a record-low temperature at kickoff. The current record is 39 degrees in 1972 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, and that would be considered a warm February day in East Rutherford, N.J.
There's never been snow in a Super Bowl game, and that could happen, too.
The average temperature range for the Meadowlands area during February is 24 to 40 degrees, with several inches of rain, according to the bid documents. Remember, the game kicks off after sunset in the Eastern time zone, so temperatures would be dropping throughout the night.
Planners have factored it all in. They're plotting giveaways to warm hands and seats, having hundreds of folks ready to shovel away snow and anything else they can do to make the experience more than just bearable.
Photo: New Meadowlands Stadium