The Return of the Freezer Bowl: Meadowlands Tapped for 2014 Super Bowl

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.: National Football League team owners this week selected New Jersey’s New Meadowlands Stadium to host the 2014 Super Bowl. The decision marks the first time the event will be held in a cold-weather venue. The game will be carried by Fox.

“Having the Super Bowl in the new home of the Jets and Giants is fantastic,” said Fox Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO David Hill. “It’s the biggest sports event in the country on the country’s biggest stage. It’s different, and should create buzz for months leading up to it and if we’re really lucky, it will begin snowing right after halftime.”

AccuWeather took a look at 44 years of weather data for the Newark, N.J. area to predict conditions for Feb. 2, 2014. The date is projected--the game date not yet been set, but no Super Bowls have been played after Feb. 7. The average high temperature for Feb. 2 over the 44 years was around 41 degrees. The coldest was 16, the warmest, 57.

Just 4 percent of the days had snowfall, with the most being three inches in 1985. Fourteen percent of the days had rainfall, the most--less than an inch in 1999. Wind might be more of an issue than precipitation. In more than half the 44 years, Feb. 2 had sustained winds of at least 15 miles per hour.

New Jersey beat out Florida in the voting even though traditional selection rules required host cities to have a minimum average temperature of 50 degrees for the event, or have a domed stadium. The rules were waived for the 2014 event.

“It will add a new dimension to the game that we haven’t seen in many years,” said Fox NFL Sunday Analyst Michael Strahan. “Many of the NFL’s most memorable games have been played in inclement weather. As a player, you’ll play anywhere to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl and as a fan, you’ll be part of a historic game. The way I look at it, anyone who is worried about snow or if it will be too cold doesn’t deserve to go to or play in a Super Bowl.”

The coldest game in NFL history, according to AccuWeather, was the 1967 NFL Championship game dubbed the “Ice Bowl.” The Dallas Cowboys played Green Bay at the Packers’ home stadium, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., in -13 F. degree weather. Wind chill was factored into the “Freezer Bowl,pictured above. The Jan. 10, 1982 game in Cincinnati between the Bengals and the San Diego Chargers was played during wind chill temperatures of 37 below zero Fahrenheit thanks to 27 mile-per-hour winds.

-- Deborah D. McAdams