The weather and bad weather go hand in hand, as the NFL’s lore is full of legends about “bear weather” and “Lambeau Field’s icy snow.” However, the modern NFL uses many tactics to keep its players warm during the day of the coldest football game.
The most important piece that will heat up Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday will be unseen to TV audiences. In 2016, the Chiefs contributed $ 2.2. less than a million field temperature units. Three million boilers — BTU hidden underground — bleachers pump heat with four-inch pipes installed under the sand under the playground to prevent the stadium from freezing.
Despite its icy reputation, Greeneau Field of Green Bay would actually be the first in the NFL to install such a water heating system, bury the pipes six inches [6 cm] below the shoreline and fill them with heat to keep the soil and roots cool. There are dozens of other venues, including Arrowhead, in the coming years.
Throughout the years of trial and error, Lambeau stadium keeper Allen Johnson has learned that he likes his system to roar at 38 degrees — just above the cold, but still cold enough to let the grass start to “harden and harden.” “You can remove the soil and see nothing but a white tube,” Johnson said. “The main purpose is to keep it melted. There is no difference [in the soft soil] between 40 and 50 degrees.”
If it gets too cold in the days leading up to the Packers game, Johnson can add a tarp, lift it, and blow warm air under it, creating a warm air blanket to keep the area dry. “If it gets bitter here, you can’t heat the whole place because you can’t control the dry air. There was a time in 2007 when I put in a heating system and took it out to fight this bitter cold. We were working overtime that day.”
Every stadium manager has a different strategy. The Baltimore Ravens team warms its ground by about 50 degrees and Philadelphia once pressed its territory to 60 degrees. The Chiefs could point to 50 degrees, ensure the pitch is not frozen (grass tips may be frozen, however) and keep the playing area soft and safe.
The field isn’t the only place that gets a nice touch of a cold snow game. Defenders’ backs gain momentum, too.
The NFL’s warmest bench was originally built by Frank Floyd Jr’s Reliable Construction Heaters. Cleveland, which in 2015 was purchased by Tioga Air Heaters. Floyd, the founder of the warm bench, uses a blank fiberglass and a propane- or gas-powered blower that uses 170,000 Btus to keep athletes warm.
The bench-related bench design incorporates slippery trays, which allow players to stand on it and be blown by the warm air, creating a “Marilyn Monroe effect” while wearing the park. An additional “hot hat” feature allows players to place protective helmets on the post behind the bench and keep air-filled lumps inside the protective helmet.
When the players get enough benches, they can stand among the paraffin operators pumping heat up to 600,000 Btus, one on each side, pointing inwards. These strikers keep the side line more than 50 degrees between two 30-yard lines, even if the outside temperature falls below freezing.
But what happens when players enter the stadium and are away from the comfort of the benches? That’s when you get a good mix of old-school cunning and chemistry help.
Athletes are sure to lay their clothes firmly in the cold competitions, turtlenecks are a popular way and a bunch of cold weather gloves to keep players dry. Long underwear and slide well under football pants.