What is the coldest Super Bowl in history?
Sunday's clash between the Rams and the Bengals could be the warmest Super Bowl ever - but which NFL title decider was played in the coldest conditions?
Super Bowl LVI is set to be one of the hottest - if not the hottest - ever played.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s in Inglewood, California, when the Los Angeles Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium this weekend.
Miami-Washington Super Bowl sizzler the hottest so far
As things stand, the highest game-time temperature recorded at an NFL title decider was in Super Bowl VII - a clash also played in the Los Angeles area.
That day in January 1973, the Miami Dolphins defeated Washington 14-7 at a Los Angeles Memorial Stadium where the kickoff temperature was 84ºF, according to figures compiled by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Current forecasts for SoFi Stadium on Sunday anticipate a maximum temperature of 82ºF, which would make Super Bowl LVI the second-warmest in history - just ahead of the 81ºF at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in January 2003, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21 at Super Bowl XXXVII.
Super Bowl VI the coldest on record
As for the coldest Super Bowl ever witnessed, that came the year before the hottest.
At Super Bowl VI in January 1972, the kickoff temperature at New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium was barely above freezing - 39ºF - for a game that saw the Dolphins lose 24-3 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Three years later, Tulane Stadium then staged the second-coldest Super Bowl ever, with thermometers reading 46ºF in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 16-6 Super Bowl IX victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Three coldest outdoor Super Bowls in history
|Super Bowl and date||Result||Venue||Kickoff temperature|
|1.||VI, 16 January 1972||Dallas 24-3 Miami||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA||39ºF|
|2.||IX,12 January 1975||Pittsburgh 16-6 Minnesota||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA||46ºF|
|3.||XLVIII, 2 February 2014||Seattle 43-8 Denver||MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ||49ºF|
Way below freezing for Super Bowl LII - but game held indoors
Temperatures were actually far lower in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when the city hosted Super Bowl LII in February 2018, but the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots was played in the enclosed U.S. Bank Stadium
While it was 30 degrees below freezing outside, the game-time temperature inside the Super Bowl arena was a pleasant 70ºF.
Other Super Bowls have also been played indoors amid sub-freezing outdoor conditions, such as Super Bowl XL, held in February 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, where the outside temperature was 30ºF.
The 'Ice Bowl' - NFL's coldest ever game
Super Bowl VI’s record-low temperature appears positively clement when compared to the weather for the coldest game played outdoors in NFL history.
Since dubbed the ‘Ice Bowl’, December 1967's NFL Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cowboys took place amid winter Wisconsin temperatures that dropped to -13ºF at Lambeau Field.
It was so cold, indeed, that referee Norm Schachter’s metal whistle froze to his lip as he blew it to signal the start of the game. In the process of separating his whistle from his mouth, Schachter then ripped off a piece of his lip.
“He bled most of the game,” Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan told AP in 2017. “After that, the NFL went to plastic whistles so it wouldn’t freeze to lips.”
Several players suffered frostbite, and in the commentary box CBS announcer Frank Gifford memorably quipped: “I think I’ll take another bite of my coffee.”