With Onset of Cold, Host Committee Weighs Safety vs. Fun for Outdoor Events

January 31, 2018 11:10 PM

Bitter-cold temperatures and some snow is in the forecast for the remaining days of Super Bowl festivities, and organizers say they're closely watching the forecast.

"We've always known it was going to be in January and February in Minnesota, and that's been a big part of our planning," said Michael Howard, communications director for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. "We want folks to be able to spend some time outside, but we want people to be safe as well."    


RELATED: Light Snow Hits Twin Cities, Cold Weather on the Way

Wind chills are expected to reach well below zero starting Thursday morning, and fans on Wednesday were planning accordingly. 

"It's supposed to be warmer today, certainly, so taking advantage of it while I can," said Nick Reina, who visited Super Bowl LIVE on Wednesday. 

As temperatures tumble, the Host Committee is hoping to keep all outdoor events open, but will close some or all if necessary.

"We're going to be monitoring the weather," Howard said, "so if it's too cold for people to be safe, then we'll communicate that with folks." 

Howard said the Nicollet Mall location of Super Bowl LIVE was in many ways strategic.

"Up and down Nicollet Mall there's, options to be inside, be outside," Howard said. "There's warming benches." 

How about that chilly zip line over the Mississippi River? Organizers stress they too are open for business, but would have to shut down if winds exceed 25 miles per hour.

"We don't want to put anyone in harm's way, so if there's any adverse weather and they think it's going to affect either participants or the guides, they will pause it or shut it down," said Scott Beitz, of Northern Events. 

Minnesota's Moment: KSTP's Super Bowl Page

John Hick is not looking forward to a cold snap.

"It's definitely something that is not an issue for most Super Bowl cities," said Hick, with Hennepin County Medical Center. 

Hick says people can get frostbite in as little as five to 10 minutes if they're not prepared for the elements.

"We're very concerned about folks coming in from out of town with inadequate clothing," Hick said. "They've had a couple drinks, they think, 'Oh I can't get an Uber right now, but it's only a 10- block walk,' and they end up with bad frostbite." 

RELATED: Lakeville Woman Streams Sticky Zip Line Experience

For now, Mother Nature isn't stopping this party.

"It's all about the wind chill," Reina said. 

For any out-of-towners, take it from a true Minnesotan on how to survive the frigid cold:

"Just dress warm right?" Reina said. "Put on those furs." 

The Host Committee did not give an exact temperature for when it would start closing attractions, but said to check their social media accounts if conditions become unbearable.


Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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