Super Bowl visitors — and regular Minnesotans — are getting a taste of the “Bold North” as bitterly cold air settles in right through Sunday’s game.
With temperatures in the single digits below zero — and windchills even lower — expected to last through the weekend, the Super Bowl Host Committee is keeping a watch on conditions and said it will issue weather-related announcements about closings or postponements via traditional and social media, and on the Super Bowl website.
Until then, it’s business as usual as the full slate of outdoor concerts and festivities on Nicollet Mall are still on as scheduled.
“We have been planning for the cold from the beginning,” said Host Committee spokesman Michael Howard. He said there was no threshold at which events would be canceled.
Opportunities to warm up include warming benches up and down Nicollet Mall and the former Dayton’s/Macy’s store at 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. Howard also encouraged those needing shelter to take advantage of the downtown skyways. Another warm place is the Minneapolis Convention Center, where the Super Bowl Experience is taking place.
“It’s ridiculous,” former football running back Rashad Jennings said of the cold Thursday as he squeezed his way through a media throng at the Mall of America.
“I’m just going between the car and the buildings,” he said. “I hear it’s nice here in the summer, so I may try to come then. But right now I’m not participating in any outdoor activities.”
Derrion Thomas said, “It’s cold; that’s your first impression. It just kind of punches you in the face.”
The Kansas City, Mo., resident, son of the late Derrick Thomas, a Hall of Fame linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs, came prepared. “Fortunately, I own a pretty good amount of cold-weather gear,” he said.
Highs on Friday will be around 12, and 15 on Saturday. Lows will fall below zero Saturday and Sunday and just above zero Saturday, the National Weather Service said.
Conditions should be just fine for Sunday’s game inside U.S. Bank Stadium. But outside, it could be the coldest Feb. 4 since 2007, when the high temperature was -5. Last year the high on Feb. 4 was 35 degrees. Highs over the past five years have been in the teens and 20s. The coldest Feb. 4 on record: -28 in 1886.
Staff writers Tim Harlow, John Reinan and Mary Lynn Smith contributed to this report.