- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Organizers of the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis said Friday visitors can expect that the city will be ready for all sorts of winter weather by the time they host the biggest sporting event in the city’s history.

The 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee told reporters they have assembled the Weather Preparedness and Response Team to begin finding ways to prepare for and respond to inclement weather conditions that may arise on or before the big game on Feb. 6.

The committee said they have remained focused on improving communication between different agencies and stocking up on salt and plows, since there’s nothing they can do to prevent bitter cold and icy weather that complicated plans at the 2011 Super Bowl in the Dallas area.

“I think most of us came back (from Dallas) thinking that things don’t _ things never go exactly according to plan,” host committee chair Mark Miles said. “And one of the key ingredients to dealing successfully with change or unanticipated events is the ability to communicate well.”

Weather Preparedness and Response Team volunteer chair Jim Schellinger said charting weather patterns helps the committee brainstorm ways to respond to different severe weather scenarios.

“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” Schellinger said. “A lot of these organizations like Homeland Security they already have plans and things in place, so what we’re going to do is bring them together.”

In addition to preparing for winter weather, Miles said a lot of the success will come down to embracing the cold weather.

“If the Winter Olympics can get untold thousands of people together every four years and have a great time outside in the cold, then why can’t we in Indianapolis,” Miles said.

Committee spokeswoman Dianna Boyce said they have had to scrap plans to line the sidewalks of the $11.5 million, open-air Super Bowl village on Georgia Street with fire pits that would keep visitors warm because the fire marshal wouldn’t permit it. Boyce said the committee is exploring other ways to provide heating stations along the three-block stretch between the Indianapolis convention center and Conseco Fieldhouse that will be the hub of weekend festivities.

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