Fourth coldest game in NFL history sees 69 people aided by fire department, ‘close to 50%’ for hypothermia symptoms

Fourth coldest game in NFL history sees 69 people aided by fire department, ‘close to 50%’ for hypothermia symptoms
  • PublishedJanuary 18, 2024

Emergency services in Kansas City rendered aid to 69 people, many for “hypothermia symptoms,” during the Chiefs’ Super Wild Card playoff win over the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, a fire department chief told CNN.

Conditions at Arrowhead Stadium during the Chiefs’ 26-7 win were tough for players and coaches to deal with, as well as fans: the temperature at kickoff was -4 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -20 degrees, making it the fourth coldest game in National Football League history, CNN has reported.

At the end of the game, the temperature was -9 degrees and felt like -28 degrees, according to the Peacock broadcast.

And while players could be seen huddling by pitch-side heaters and many made the most of heated benches in a bid to keep out the cold, fans had to wrap up warm as they watched from the stands.

However, emergency services in the area were required to look after a number of people for whom the below-zero temperatures were too much.

The Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) gave aid to 69 people – “close to 50% … were for hypothermia symptoms” – during the game, KCFD battalion chief Michael Hopkins told CNN.

Fifteen of the patients seen were transported by KCFD, “seven for hypothermia symptoms, three for frostbite symptoms, and five for various other reasons,” said Hopkins.

The Kansas City “metro area has been plunged into the deep freeze with below zero temperatures for much of the past weekend, including the Chiefs game,” said a University of Kansas Health System news release.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 13: A view of the frozen field as the grounds crew removes the tarp in the brutal cold before an AFC Wild Card playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 13, 2024 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A view of the field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City as the grounds crew removes the cover before the playoff game between the Chiefs and the Dolphins.Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The medical system, which provides first aid at Arrowhead Stadium, has not yet released data on the patients treated during the game.

“At this time, we are awaiting approval from The Kansas City Chiefs to release the numbers of patients treated at the seven aid stations at the stadium, and the various types of conditions treated,” said the news release.

“The Emergency Department at The University of Kansas Health System continues to see patients for weather-related problems,” according to the news release.

According to the hospital, since Tuesday, January 9 there have been 59 patients were treated due to the harsh conditions for “shortness of breath, exposure, heart attack from exertion, motor vehicle accidents, slipping and falling on ice.”

Eight of those patients were admitted to the hospital. In addition, there were also nine patients with frostbite admitted to the Burnett Burn Center, said the news release.

Saturday’s conditions are rivaled by the coldest NFL game on record: the December 1967 “Ice Bowl” in Wisconsin, when the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys amid -13 Fahrenheit air temperature and a -48 wind chill, according to the NFL.


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