DALLAS --- Roads froze and airports closed. Falling ice sent six people to the hospital. Finally, seats to the big game vanished hours before kickoff. Super Bowl week in Texas was not always so super.
Annoyance over difficult driving conditions and altered travel plans early in the week turned to anger Sunday for hundreds of fans with tickets who were forced to watch Green Bay beat Pittsburgh on TV at $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium in suburban Arlington because their temporary seats weren't ready.
Many visitors left Dallas-Fort Worth wondering whether the region had been prepared to hold the event.
"Logistics are a major, major problem here," said John Boyle, a 53-year-old Packers fan who was waiting at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for a flight home to Minnesota on Monday. "And I think everyone would say the same thing." North Texas wasn't at fault for the seating problem. The region had no control over the weather, either. Ice fell from the roof of Cowboys Stadium on Friday, injuring six workers on the plaza below.
Hundreds of flights were canceled early in the week and again Friday when more snow hit, but airline estimates indicated most of the impact was not on travel.
Even after the weather cleared, Tim Bastion of Pittsburgh found out the hard way how difficult it can be to get around without a car in sprawling suburbs where organizers intentionally put major NFL events as many as 30 miles apart to emphasize the Super Bowl's regional efforts.
Bastion and his son had to take a hotel shuttle nearly 10 miles back to the airport in order to get a cab to take them places.
Estimates of the economic impact on the Super Bowl vary widely -- from $200 million to $600 million -- and it's unlikely the prolonged and unusual weather event will affect those figures significantly, said Terry Clower, the director for the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas.
Bill Lively, the president of the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee, still believes the region will get another Super Bowl.
The area rallied with about 48 hours of typical sunny Texas weather in the final countdown to the Super Bowl, then the clouds and a chilly wind returned.
"I know a lot of people are probably having hours and hours and hours of meetings post-event to try to learn from this," said Julie Dennehy, a public relations consultant. "What they need to do is communicate how much they learned, and how they've changed."