Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Super Bowl Snow Plans Put to the Test

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TWC News: Super Bowl Snow Plans Put to the Test
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Officials prepping for Super Bowl Sunday got to show off their snow plans piled Wednesday should more snow arrive ahead of the big game. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

National Football League officials couldn't have asked for better conditions to practice under. Tuesday's 10 plus inches of snow that blanketed the city also hit MetLife Stadium which will host the Broncos and Seahawks for Super Bowl XLVIII in a week and a half. So league officials activated their snow removal plan.

The stadium operations staff along with NFL productions staff is running this as a dress rehearsal and we have people watching, and evaluating and grading," said NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman.

The game day plan calls for 1,600 workers to be on standby for snow, double the normal number for a Jets or Giants game. In place are 30 front loaders of all sizes, plows and ice melting machines to clear the parking lots. The field itself is covered by a heated tarp that will be plowed. For the seats, the snow is removed through a series of chutes and funnels.

"It's brought down through those chutes, onto the field, scraped up into the center of the field onto the tarp and then removed," Grubman explained.

NFL officials say from the moment a snow storm stops it will take 18 hours to clear the stadium and the parking lot.

The logical question is, would the game still be played if this kind of snowfall happened on Super Sunday. Officials wouldn't speculate, instead saying that they will work in tandem with local officials. They're confident if the snow came a day before the big game, it would be played as scheduled.

The other outstanding question is how the cold could affect the fans. Officials say if you're going to the game be prepared and dress in layers. But to help, the NFL will be handing out Warm Welcome Kits that include gloves, hats, lip balm and much more.

"This is an embrace the cold Super Bowl for obvious reasons, but some people may not have the little items," Grubman said.

The dress rehearsal to clean the entire stadium would theoretically end around 1 a.m. Thursday.

At this point, league officials say their operations are right on schedule. But all that really matters is if snow strikes on Super Bowl Sunday they're able to pull it off then.

The Broncos and Seahawks face off on February 2 at 6:25 p.m.

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