The temperature at kickoff at TFC Bank Stadium was -6 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -25. That made the game the coldest one in Vikings’ history and tying for the third-coldest playoff game in NFL history.
Hand warmers at entry gates and free coffee for fans were provided before the game.
Mariucci Arena, where the University of Minnesota’s men’s hockey team plays, was opened as a warming house three hours before kickoff.
As for the game, the Seahawks escaped with a 10-9 win after Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed the chip shot, a 27-yard field goal that would have given Minnesota a 12-10 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Seattle trailed 9-0 heading into the fourth quarter before taking a 10-9 lead midway through the fourth.
The Seahawks, who have won six straight road games, advance to the NFC Divisional round where they’ll face the Carolina Panthers (15-1) in Charlotte next Sunday. Carolina defeated Seattle 27-23 on the road on October 18.
Did the subzero temperatures play a factor?
Even with the loss, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer applauded the Vikings faithful.
“I thought the fans were outstanding. They sat in the coldest game in Vikings history and were loud. I thought they did a great job.”
Minnesota played their first outdoor home playoff game since the 1976 NFC Championship when they beat the Los Angeles Rams to advance to Super Bowl XI. Renowned Vikings coach Bud Grant, 88, was the honorary captain for Sunday’s game and wasn’t fazed by the big chill as he donned short sleeves for the coin toss.
The Vikings previous coldest game for temperature and wind chill occurred on December 3, 1972, against the Chicago Bears. The temperature was minus -2 degrees, with a wind chill of -19 degrees.
The coldest game of all-time was the classic “Ice Bowl” on December 31, 1967, between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers for the NFL championship. It was -13 degrees with the wind chill of 48 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that.
Cold week ahead
A stoic lot in the face of winter, Minnesotans of all stripes will have plenty to test their resolve this week.
The highest temperature in the seven-day forecast for Minneapolis is 21 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Light snow is also expected this week.
At 6 p.m. CT Sunday, the temperature in Minneapolis was -3 degrees. Not to be outdone, the temperature at International Falls, near the border with Canada, was -7 degrees. The low in the “Nation’s Icebox” is expected to dip to -19 degrees overnight.
Such cold temperatures call for innovation. On Twitter, a photo of beers being heated up on the edge of a grill was posted.