Politics

It’s 85 degrees in Los Angeles. Fans don’t mind.



INGLEWOOD, Calif. — As unseasonably high temperatures soared well into the 80s in the middle of February, fans pouring into SoFi Stadium welcomed the heat and the sunny weather.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory last week for Los Angeles County through Sunday evening, warning of an increased risk of heat-related illnesses.

Despite concerns, the National Weather Service tweeted that Sunday’s game did not top or match the previous record for hottest Super Bowl. As of kickoff, the temperature at nearby Hawthorne Municipal Airport topped 79 compared with a record of 84 degrees set in 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 6 miles away from SoFi Stadium.

Outside the arena, a manmade lake surrounding the stadium became a popular rest point for fans wanting a little shade and quiet before they headed for their seats.

Los Angeles natives John and Jacky Rocha knew it would be hot Sunday and were still surprised when they arrived.

“We expected it, but having to stand in line for 30 minutes just to buy merchandise is definitely a game changer,” John Rocha said.

Jacky Rocha, his wife, said it’s the kind of weather that makes “you want to enjoy a beer in the shade” and drink lots of water in between.

A few feet away, Bengals fans Quentin and Linda Short smiled into the sun. The couple flew in last week from Fort Lauderdale and looked forward to even warmer temperatures than in Florida. Quentin, a Cincinnati native, said he was in the sixth grade the last time his hometown team made it into the Super Bowl and wasn’t going to miss his chance to see them in person this year.

“This is our winter,” Quentin Short said of the warm temperatures, wearing shorts and sunglasses and sipping on a beer.

Jacky Short, his wife, added: “It feels amazing with no humidity. We live for days like this.”

Heat-related medical emergencies are top of mind for first responders. At one of the first-aid tents surrounding the arena, a medic who asked not to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak to reporters said he and his colleagues are trying to keep everyone hydrated throughout the day. Free water and ice will be available at the first-aid tents, but the majority of people here were walking around with beers and cocktails.

“Drinking on a hot day like this isn’t ideal, but it’s the Super Bowl, after all,” he said. “Hopefully people will stay safe today.”





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