The great unknown, of course, is the weather. The current forecast is for a mostly clear and dry day in the New York area on Super Bowl Sunday, with temperatures at kickoff in the high 20s to about 30.
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the coldest game-time temperature for a Super Bowl played in an outdoor stadium is 39 degrees. That came in Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. That record could fall in New York. But the bigger issue is whether the chill will be accompanied by ice or snow.
Organizers have talked about plans to melt and move snow if needed. The league has contingency plans to play the game on a different day, any time from the Friday before to the Monday after, if the worst-case weather scenario unfolds. According to Grubman, the league has spoken to NASA officials about how they deal with weather forecasts for launches and has hired an expert to help with the interpretation of various weather models. The numerous weather forecasts that pour into the NFL's offices are studied closely.
"It's a continuous stream," Grubman said. "They are not countable."
Mara was asked in a midweek phone conversation if he was confident everything would go smoothly. He laughed and said: "After yesterday's snowstorm?"
New Jersey and New York were hit by significant snow Tuesday.
"I think we'll be prepared," Mara said. "There's a lot for people to do here. I think people will enjoy themselves. Hopefully we'll get a decent day for the game. . . . I'm hoping for anything but extreme weather. You just want a situation where the people in the stands are comfortable and the game on the field won't be affected."