Central Florida in January can be unpredictable with the weather, at times, and unfortunately for the NFL and organizers of the Pro Bowl, “Mother Nature” has reared her ugly head for Sunday afternoon.
With the NFC and AFC preparing to battle outdoors at Camping World Stadium near downtown Orlando, a cold front moved across the southeastern United States Sunday bringing rain with it.
And, as game time approached, it became apparent that, instead of sunshine and tropical ideal conditions, the Pro Bowl more resembled a cold dingy day that you might find in November in the Upper Midwest.
It’s such a nasty unexpected forecast that even WFTV Meteorologist Brian Fields resorted to humor on Twitter Sunday afternoon:
This sums it up!!🌴🌨🌴🌨 pic.twitter.com/leX6IJevZm
— Brian Shields (@BShieldsWFTV) January 27, 2019
50° temperatures and pouring down rain is not what anyone from the AFC or the NFC was looking forward to in the All-Star game showdown. Yet, that was the situation.
The good news is: it’s a “Field Turf” surface that drains fairly well at Camping World Stadium. However, that’s about the only good news.
Bucs WR Mike Evans came off the field from early warmups with a message to the fans who were going to brave the elements and those watching around the country:
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 27, 2019
This game had previously been played most of the time at Aloha Stadium (1980-2016) in Honolulu, Hawaii. That was except for the two years (2009- Miami and 2014-Arizona), where the league played the game at the Super Bowl site on the weekend before the big game.
The NFL did a multi-year deal with the city Orlando in 2016 to play it in between the championship games and Super Bowl weekend. It’s not known the full length of that deal or if the NFL has “an out” to play it elsewhere, if they want.
The league could obviously go back to the format of playing the game in Super Bowl cities the week before the game, especially if they have a retractable roof, where weather wouldn’t be an issue.
Still, Orlando is a worldwide tourist destination for the warm weather, particularly in the winter time and obviously, the proximity to mega-successful amusement parks like Disney, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. This appeals greatly to get players to want to come play the game.
Just as Hawaii was appealing previously for that reason.
Still, most of the country has to be chuckling at Central Florida’s misfortune because it’s not “Chamber of Commerce weather” for the NFL to showcase its stars on Sunday.
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