The emergencies section of the NFL rulebook specifically identifies lightning and flooding as possible weather-related reasons for the suspension or postponement of a professional football game.
It does not mention cold or snow.
The word “cold” only appears in the NFL rulebook one time. One of the great charms of the National Football League is the ever-growing lore of games played in the cold. Across the history of the NFL, many stadiums have hosted games in wintery conditions. Here is a breakdown of the five best cold-weather NFL stadiums of all time by DailyStoke, a website about sports and betting.
Top 5 Cold Weather NFL Stadiums of All Time
#5 – MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey – 2010-Present
Lacks the nostalgia and history of Giants Stadium? Yes. Lacks the history of big playoff wins in the cold and snow? No doubt.
MetLife Stadium sneaks onto the list of best cold-weather stadiums for one reason. The NFL bent the rules in 2014 and hosted Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife. It was the only time the Super Bowl was played outside in a cold weather city.
Normally, a city must have an average temperature of over 50 degrees or an indoor facility to host the Super Bowl. In the end, game time temperature was a comfortable 49 degrees and the Seattle Seahawks throttled the Denver Broncos 43-8. No matter, hosting an outdoor Super Bowl in the northeast in February gives MetLife a special place in NFL history.
#4 – Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts – 1971-2002
While the New England Patriot dynasty started just weeks after Foxboro Stadium hosted its final game, this Massachusetts relic nabs a spot in the top five after hosting two of the most memorable cold-weather games of all time.
On December 12, 1982, the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins 3-0 in what quickly became known as the Snow Plow Game. Played in a snowstorm the division rivals slipped and slid over the field for more than three quarters before snowplow driver Mark Henderson was summoned onto the field to create an opening for New England kicker John Smith. From a small patch of artificial green turf surrounded by white snow, Smith converted the 33-yard attempt to give the Patriots the deciding 3-0 advantage.
Nearly 20 years later, in the final game ever played in the stadium, the legend of snow football at Foxboro Stadium added another magical story and launched an all-time NFL career. The Tuck Rule Game.
During a rare at-the-time nighttime playoff game played in a driving snowstorm, not-yet-superstar quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots to a victory over the then-Oakland Raiders. Late in the fourth quarter, Brady’s former college teammate Charles Woodson sacked the quarterback and knocked the ball from his hand into the snow and then into Raider hands.
However, officials ruled an incomplete pass because of the now famous “tuck rule”. Brady continued to drive his team through the snow to send the game to overtime. Minutes later, kicker Adam Vinatieri sent the ball through the snow and through the goalposts to secure the win for New England.
In likely the most controversial cold weather game ever played, the Patriots closed Foxboro Stadium with a win for the ages.
#3 Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York – 1973-Present
Known for most of its existence as Ralph Wilson Stadium, this home to Buffalo’s beloved Bills has hosted many cold weather affairs. While a whopping 77 inches of snow forced the Bills November 20, 2022 game to be moved to Detroit, more often than not, the Bills play at home no matter the precipitation or temperature.
During the Bills four-year dominance of the AFC in the early 1990s, they played and won three of four AFC Championship games in Orchard Park. More broadly, the Bills are an astonishing 12-1 in playoff games in this facility. All 13 playoff games have been played in December and January. Cold-weather home playoff wins are part of the identity of Buffalo sports. Unfortunately for the die-hard Buffalo supporters, so are the four straight Super Bowl losses of the 1990s. Yes, they were all played in warm weather.
#2 Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois – 1924-Present
The warmest of the ten coldest games played at Soldier Field was played on a day that topped out at 12 degrees. With wind chills that often brought the feeling of air down below zero degrees, this stadium has hosted many frigid games.
While there is not one famous snow game or freeze-out that defines this facility, the oldest and one of the most traditional stadiums easily grabs the number two ranking for cold-weather stadiums. With an average low temperature in the mid-20s in December, Soldier Field has had many games in the cold in its 100-year history.
#1 Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin – 1957-Present
11 years ago today, the #Packers defeat the Seahawks in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Brett Favre’s last win as a Packer.
Playoffs, Lambeau Field, snow. ❄️
— GBP Daily – Rob Westerman lll (@GBPdaily) January 12, 2019
Rarely in a debate of a Top 5 of any type of sports facility is there simply no argument over Number 1. This is one of those rare times. Almost all NFL fans readily add the verbal prefix “The frozen tundra” before saying the words Lambeau Field when discussing cold weather NFL homes.
Three of the eight coldest NFL games were contested at Lambeau Field, including the infamous Ice Bowl of 1967 where the host Packers knocked off the Dallas Cowboys to reach the first Super Bowl. Depending on the source, this game was played at -13, -14, or -15 degrees. Still, 50,000+ fans braved the cold to see their beloved Packers.
More than any other stadium, Lambeau Field is a symbolic home to cold-weather football and all of the mystique that goes with this type of NFL game. Many other cities have left their old outdoor stadiums for climate-controlled, indoor palaces which cater to dollars and corporate clients over nostalgia. May that never be the case in Green Bay, Wisconsin.