Months of planning and preparation (for teams, fans and organizers alike) culminate today in the biggest U.S. sporting event of the year. Here’s the latest in travel, weather and security for Sunday.
The cold weather everyone has been talking about looks to be a no-show. Instead of a polar vortex, East Rutherford, N.J., will get a solar vortex. According to the Weather Channel, the temperature at kickoff looks to be in the mid- to low-40 degree Fahrenheit range, with temperatures dropping to the high-to-mid-30s by the time fans will be traveling back from the game.
The game is no longer expected to be the “coldest Super Bowl ever played,” an that honor will likely stay with Super Bowl VI that was held in of all places, balmy New Orleans. The temperature at kickoff on January 16, 1972 was 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The Tom Landry-led Cowboys routed the Miami Dolphins 24-3.
Security teams boast they’ve been preparing for the Super Bowl for over a year. The National Guard, FBI, TSA, Centers for Disease Control, local law enforcement and more are all a part of this year’s security effort. The extra cautious prep makes security forces confident: "If you can think of a way to attack an event like this, we're pretty confident we've already thought of it and put a plan in place to mitigate the threat," said one FBI agent to SB Nation.
The cold weather means fans will be bundled up for the game, making pat-down and searches more difficult for security crews. Fans can expect long lines at entry points and eyes on them at all times, even in the bathrooms. Security is tight in Midtown Manhattan, too, where the festivities at Super Bowl Boulevard near Times Square offer a unique security challenge. Expect dogs, guns, helicopters and fighter jets.
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Thanks to New Jersey and New York’s robust public-transport system, many fans will likely be taking trains and buses out to Metlife Stadium. NJ Transit is expanding service and adding trains to handle the extra volume of travelers. Multilevel trains and extra scheduling are in place to alleviate some of the congestion. NJ Transit has set up special shuttle trains to go between New York Penn Station, Newark Penn Station and Newark Liberty International Airport.
As of 1 p.m. ET trains from New York Penn Station heading to Secaucus were packed and fans traveling to the game should expect delays. Gates at Metlife Stadium opened at 2 p.m. Special lanes have been opened for shuttle buses, and NJ.com reports that "routes 1 & 9, 3, 17, 21, 120, 495, and 46, along with Interstates 78, 80 and 95, the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike and all Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bridges and tunnels" can expect delays.
Even though parking at the stadium is limited, the towns around East Rutherford are expecting heavy vehicle traffic, some due to local celebrations and events. Even private plane passengers are feeling the woes of traffic jams. You can monitor traffic yourself via the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. A video from the New York Police Department regarding Super Bowl security can be viewed below.
A video from the New York Police Department regarding Super Bowl security can be viewed below.