Workers shovel snow off the seating area at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Jan. 22, following a snow storm. Super Bowl XLVIII, to be played on Feb. 2, will be the first NFL title game held outdoors in a city where it snows. Photo by Associated Press
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.— Teterboro Airport Limousine Service is at the epicenter of this Sunday’s first outdoor cold-climate Super Bowl in sub-freezing New Jersey. Just two miles from MetLife Stadium, the company is located at one of the country’s busiest private and charter airports in the country — in a region where train, plane and automobile congestion is a way of life.
Considering that the main topic of conversation this week among fans and the media is centered more on ‘what if” game-day weather conditions than the actual game itself, Teterboro Limousine’s Jason Centrella appeared calm when contacted by LCT Magazine Tuesday for a pre-game update.
“A lot of our regular corporate and big accounts are staying away this week, but we’re getting calls … I expect the tidal wave of calls to start Thursday from brokers and others who need transportation,” he explained. And the weather? “We can handle any conditions and if it snows, we may just use our SUVs rather than sedans.”
Teterboro can park 600 planes and airport officials expect those spaces to be sold out, which bodes well for Centrella who should be at full throttle handling bookings during the weekend.
Regarding New Jersey-New York traffic projections Friday through Monday, no one really knows what will happen. SWAT teams of NFL, police, state and local transportation authorities have dedicated traffic routes for permit-only private transportation vehicles entering and exiting the stadium during game day. Ticket holders have been urged to use mass transit to get to and from the game. However, mid-town Manhattan is expected to be snarled due to the closure of 48 streets for events taking place this weekend along a 13-block stretch of Broadway nicknamed “Super Bowl Boulevard.”
On the bright side, “We’re booked,” said Lisa Godoy, manager at New York City-based Pinnacle Limousine, which serves the metro region. “Business is booming; people are coming from all over the place — Miami, Atlanta — you name it. We also have four party buses booked for Super Bowl pre-parties and events in Manhattan and Connecticut, and transfers from all the major airports.
And if it snows? “Our vehicles can handle the snow, but if it gets to over 8 inches, then we would shut down the sedans and use our SUVs.”
The weather is such a concern, considering the recent wave of abnormal snow and single-digit temperatures this month in the region, the NFL hired its own weatherman to provide up-to-the minute forecasts for game-day conditions. The good news is that current predictions call for temperatures in the mid-30s at kickoff and a 20% chance of rain or snow flurries. But if you are a betting person, a New York Times article reported that an online gambling site, Bovada, is taking bets on the temperature at kickoff, snow accumulation, and coldest temperature during the game.
Jeff Rose, president of New York City’s Attitude New York, isn’t so much on the Super Bowl bandwagon and is not actively seeking out business from the big event. Rather, he wants to make sure that his regular clients are not abandoned during the next few days for a Super Bowl that will only happen, well, maybe just once at MetLife Stadium.
However, Rose is seeing an uptick in business, but he also notes that January in general has been “crazy busy” due to the cold weather in general. “The first polar vortex that hit in January was great for business when it was just frigid and people called for transportation,” he said. “The second polar vortex during the month it also snowed and we were busy but you had to be mindful about driver safety and road conditions … I’ll take a dry polar vortex any day — great for business,” he laughed.
— Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast editor