This Year's Super Bowl Won't Even Come Close To The Coldest NFL Games In History

by Lani Seelinger
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The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events on America's calendar — if not the biggest — but it doesn't exactly come at the warmest time of year. With the game happening in the dead of winter, it's natural to wonder if the 2019 Super Bowl Stadium is heated. The Atlanta match won't pose as much of a problem as some of the historically chilly games of the past, though.

The NFL generally only holds the Super Bowl in warm climates or stadiums with domes, according to Bleacher Report, and Atlanta is no exception. Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium is temperature-controlled, so fans will be comfortable in any weather.

The 2018 Super Bowl happened in Minnesota, where it would have been the coldest Super Bowl ever, according to MPR News. Thankfully for fans, Minneapolis' U.S. Bank Stadium is heated. Because of this tradition, the coldest Super Bowl every played outdoors didn't even take place in sub-zero temperatures, according to USA Today.

But that doesn't mean that other games don't happen in the bitter cold. Various NFL teams have devised all sorts of innovative methods for keeping their fields playable and their players warm. In some of these examples from history, though, it's hard to imagine even the most technologically advanced long underwear making much of a difference.

The Coldest Super Bowl Ever

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To be fair, the coldest Super Bowl is far from the coldest game ever played, but it still earns a mention because of its place in history. According to USA Today, Super Bowl VI, played in 1972, experienced the coldest temperatures of any Super Bowl game. The high that day in New Orleans was 43 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was only 39 at kickoff. For NFL fans from the Midwest, that hardly even counts as a fall chill.

The "Ice Bowl"

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The 1967 NFL Championship game took place at Green Bay's storied Lambeau Field, between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While this wasn't the official name of the event, it earned the mantle of the "Ice Bowl" because it was -13 degrees when the game started. Nevertheless, over 50,000 loyal fans showed up and watched the Packers skate to victory.

The "Freezer Bowl"

At the 1981 AFC Championship in Ohio between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers, the actual temperature didn't quite hit "Ice Bowl" levels but remained at -9 degrees. However, a nasty and consistent wind made it feel like -38 degrees throughout the game, according to Still, over 45,000 fans came out to witness the game that would later become known as the "Freezer Bowl," including one intrepid man who spent part of the game shirtless.

The 1975 AFC Championship Game

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With the temperature registering at 18 degrees, the 1975 AFC Championship Game was far from the coldest game ever played. But as 247 Sports explained, the conditions did lead to a couple of problems between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the visiting Oakland Raiders. A mistake with a tarp meant to be protecting the field led to sidelines that were completely iced over, with a crunchy field to boot. According to ESPN, the Raiders accused Pittsburg of having iced the sidelines on purpose to mess with their game.

The Third Coldest Game In History

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Before the Minnesota Vikings moved to their new heated stadium, they faced the Seattle Seahawks in the third coldest game ever, according to Sports Illustrated. The temperature outside was a frigid -6 degrees, with a wind chill of -25 degrees.

There have been several other sub-zero NFL games in the past, often taking place in either Green Bay or Minnesota. Luckily the players and fans going to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII will be much warmer.