It has been 19 years since Atlanta last hosted a Super Bowl, and if Tuesday’s forecast holds true, the NFL could be facing an unwanted case of déjà vu.
Atlanta is expected to get up to 2 inches of snow on Tuesday. While that doesn’t seem like anything to fuss about for people from cold-weather states, any amount of snow has the potential to wreak havoc on Atlanta. The city lacks the equipment and familiarity to deal with winter weather on a regular basis. This is the last thing Atlanta needs on a day that has thousands arriving to the city for Super Bowl festivities.
In an effort to avoid another 2014 “snow jam,” schools around Atlanta are closing Tuesday. The city isn’t taking chances, but this seems to keep happening ahead of Atlanta’s Super Bowl.
Ahead of Super Bowl XXXIV between the Titans and Rams in 2000, the entire city was brought to halt by a historic ice storm. I was there — 10 years old at the time and living in Atlanta. The roads were borderline unusable, hundreds of thousands were without power, there was a 47-car wreck on I-20. There was — no exaggeration — SO MUCH ICE.
And, in all, the storm racked up $48 million of damage.
That storm and Atlanta’s ill-readiness for the aftermath was blamed for the NFL’s reluctancy to return to the city after nearly two decades. After all, Atlanta is a city that hosts college football championships, Final Fours, major bowl games. What was the NFL waiting for?
It took a $1.6 billion stadium to bring the game back. The city certainly hopes a little snow won’t lead to another 19-year wait.
Atlanta could get some winter weather at the worst time.