Cowboys Stadium Roof: Will Dallas' Wintry Conditions Jeopardize the 2011 Super Bowl?
The host site of Super Bowl XLV found itself prematurely thrust into the spotlight on Friday, as several people were injured by falling ice and snow that tumbled off the roof of Cowboys Stadium. None of the injuries were said to be life threatening, but it's a frightening development in a week that's seen the weather wreak havoc on the Dallas area.
An ice storm descended on the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex on Tuesday, and temperatures throughout the week remained below freezing. Then came a snow storm on Friday morning that compounded the wintry conditions, and subsequently led to this incident where the snow and ice tumbled off the roof and struck innocent bystanders below.
The Dallas area has come under fire for its perceived lack of preparation to deal with the snow and ice storms that have hit this usually warm section of the country. Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted earlier in the week that the area was "plow-less", and called the whole effort to deal with the poor conditions a "debacle".
But will these weather-related issues affect the game, or the hundreds of thousands of fans expected to crowd into Cowboys Stadium to witness sports' biggest event of the year?
The answer is, no. First and foremost, most of the complaints and concern being voiced about the weather in Dallas and the wintry conditions have come from sports writers covering the game. A highly ironic group to be complaining considering they get an expenses-paid trip and ticket to a sporting event many would give an arm and a leg to attend.
Most importantly, though, is that this is not an outdoor Super Bowl that will be affected by the weather (unlike the Super Bowl in 2014 in New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey). The roof, despite its issues with handling a steady stream of ice an snow, will be closed come kickoff Sunday night.
Yes the Cowboys have had issues with their roofs before, as their practice facility's roof collapsed in 2009 resulting in the paralysis of a Cowboys scouting assistant. But Jerry Jones' billion dollar-plus stadium isn't going to face these types of issues come the big game, at least if we're to believe what's been said by the Arlington, Texas fire department and those NFL officials that have said the roof will be fine for the game.
To me this incident is scary, no doubt about it, but the overall narrative of complaint about the weather conditions is immaterial and irrelevant. Dallas has a state of the art stadium and a populous that obsesses over football, and they're an ideal place to host a Super Bowl because of it.
While the roof is a point of concern, as is the Dallas-Fort Worth area's cleanup efforts after a week of winter weather, it should in no way take away from football's biggest day. All the griping about the weather does nothing to get fans ready for the game, and only works to detract from what should be a great day for football fans.
For more on tomorrow's big game, and another piece to get you fired up for it, check out Super Bowl XLV: Five Reasons This Could Be The Best Super Bowl Ever.