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Icy weather raises questions on Super Bowl travel

By the CNN Wire Staff
Officials in Dallas, Texas, say the city will be ready to host the big game on Sunday.
Officials in Dallas, Texas, say the city will be ready to host the big game on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Icy weather in Dallas is raising questions over whether Super Bowl fans will face travel problems
  • Forecasters expect the blustery winter weather to leave the region by Thursday
  • Up to 500 Dallas flights are expected to be canceled Tuesday, airport officials said
  • Forecasters say Dallas temperatures will bump up to a high of 61 degrees by game day

(CNN) -- A rash of inclement weather shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Tuesday morning, raising questions as to whether Super Bowl fans will face travel problems ahead of Sunday's big game.

Icy road conditions on Tuesday forced schools and some government offices to close, while 60 municipal trucks salted and scraped their way through Dallas, Texas, said mayoral spokesman Frank Librio.

But forecasters expect the blustery winter weather to leave the region -- and much of the country -- by Thursday, just as the first wave of pigskin enthusiasts are due to arrive.

"We have been planning for this for a whole year," Librio said of Sunday's match-up between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. "We'll be ready."

Both teams and their fans are cold weather clubs, accustomed to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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But as a massive winter storm sweeps across the nation's heartland, up to 500 Dallas flights are expected to be canceled, said airport spokesman David Magana, making re-bookings difficult for those with early travel plans.

With more than 30 states under winter storm warnings or blizzard warnings, air traffic came to a halt in some places.

Dallas and Houston in Texas and Chicago, Illinois, are feeling the most impact, said FAA spokeswoman Tammy Jones.

Transport personnel had reopened one runway at Dallas-Fort Worth airport by Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Dallas Love Field Airport was down to one open runway, according to the FAA.

Forecasters say the sub-freezing temperatures will let up Friday, reaching highs of 42 degrees.

But Super Bowl XLV, scheduled to begin Sunday at 6:30pm ET, is expected to draw thousands of fans to the Texan gridiron in search of warmer weather.

Forecasters say Dallas temperatures will bump up to a high of 61 degrees by game day.

While not exactly balmy conditions, the warm weather Super Bowl tradition could more abruptly end three years from now.

The New Meadowlands Stadium, co-owned by the New York Giants and Jets, won the bid to host Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Fans may be forced to don winter gloves underneath their foam fingers in what could be the nation's first true cold-weather classic in 2014.

The big game is customarily played in either domed stadiums or warm weather states.

The 1967 "Ice-Bowl," in which the Packers edged out a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, was played in frigid temperatures at Lambeau Field in the 35th National Football League championship game.

Green Bay then traveled to Los Angeles to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in the very first Super Bowl.