Whatever happens Sunday night between the Patriots and the Falcons — the Pats are a slight favorite to win their fifth Super Bowl — the field at NRG Stadium will be ready. So says NFL Director of Events Eric Finkelstein, who offered the media a sneak peek at the turf that’s been painted with Super Bowl LI graphics and the logos of both teams.
“Our job is to make sure that everything performs at the highest possible level for the Super Bowl, the field being one of them,” Finkelstein said. “We have our standards that we meet, and we look to exceed those, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.”
Beyond the action on the field, the two biggest questions about the stadium are related to the roof. Will it be open? And are the rumors about Lady Gaga planning to perform her halftime show on top of it true?
“I can’t really speak to that,” Finkelsaid said. “I can only tell you that it’s going to be a special performance. I don’t know all the specifics. They keep it pretty close and tight to the vest.”
He did affirm that he’s been on the roof before and that it could support people and objects, and Lady Gaga told a Boston radio station that her plans include being suspended from the roof.
However, with a 60-percent chance of rain being predicted for Sunday, hopefully the stunt doesn't depend on the roof being open. Whatever the pop star wants, it's the league that will decide on game day whether to open the roof after studying the conditions. Regardless, Finkelstein has high expectations for Super Sunday.
“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as it is every year,” he said. “Whether you’re here in person or watching on TV, it’s going to be a very special day on Sunday that I know will be a great game as well.”