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NFL playoffs: Ice storm to pose travel hazards ahead of Chiefs, Steelers game

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Football fans planning to attend the NFL divisional round matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers in Kansas City on Sunday should prepare for icy travel in the hours leading up to the game.

A large and potentially destructive ice storm is expected to expand across the central United States during the weekend. The storm could bring major travel hazards, especially for untreated road surfaces.

Temperatures in the morning will be in the middle to upper 20s F with freezing rain falling across the Kansas City area, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

As for during the game, while temperatures will be within a couple of degrees of freezing at kickoff, it will be a cold, wet day at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 1:05 p.m. EST.

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


“Fans will need to have appropriate rain gear and be prepare for a cold, wet game,” Pydynowski said.

Some of the rain may freeze on some surfaces within the stadium, though the heating system under the field will keep the grass wet and prevent ice from building up on the playing surface, he added.

Members of the Chiefs’ grounds crew have already begun preparing the field for Sunday’s game, according to ChiefsDigest.com.

Head groundskeeper Travis Hogan told the website the center of the field has been re-sodded and the thickness of the sod will allow the turf to withstand the rigors of an NFL playoff game. In addition, the field will likely be covered on Friday to keep it warm and dry in advance of the game.

“We could have gotten through it without actually re-sodding, but we wanted to make sure that we put the best possible field out there for this playoff game,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said on the team's website.