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Frigid temperatures in Kansas City; Coldest MLS match … ever?

Nov 23, 2013, 6:27 PM EDT

KC cold

With temperatures set to be in the lower 20s on Saturday in Kansas City, tonight’s playoff contest from Sporting Park will set records.

Temperature an hour before kickoff (7:30 p.m. on NBC SN) was 23 degrees. Brrrr!

According to Major League Soccer, it will be the coldest match since 2003, at least. It’s quite possible that no match has been held in colder conditions … the league only began recording game-time temperatures 10 years back.

(UPDATE, 6:54 p.m. ET: MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche just messaged me via Twitter; he says he is confident this is, in fact, the coldest match in league history. But he’s double and triple checking, etc.)

The previous coldest recorded league match was early in the 2011 season, when  Toronto FC and Portland met in Canada; kickoff temperature at that one was 26 degrees.

As for big games, temperature at kickoff of the 2009 MLS Cup match in Seattle (Real Salt Lake over the LA Galaxy) was 45 degrees. And raining, no less!

(MORE: Previewing Saturday’s playoff contest)

The inaugural MLS Cup match, at Foxboro Stadium in 1996, was played in 44 degree temperatures along with a steady downpour.

Kickoff mercury for the 2010 MLS Cup match in Toronto (Colorado over FC Dallas) was 45 degrees, but a fierce wind made that one pretty miserable, too.


  1. jusafootballfan - Nov 23, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I was at a match, @ Ohio Stadium in ’96 or ’97 vs. the Dallas Burn. It snowed. No clue of the temperature, but it was pretty damn cold.

    • Steve Davis - Nov 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      You know what … I was at that one, too, now that you mention it! Don’t remember the snowy stuff sticking, though. (I remember talking to Zarco Rodriguez afterward. Freshly in from Central America, he said he had NEVER played in a match so cold.)

      • jusafootballfan - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        Yeah, I don’t remember it sticking either, but it was damn sure cold out =). No warm beer that day! Back when Kreis was doing his thing on the other side of the touchline.

  2. talgrath - Nov 23, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Tell me again about how the MLS could play through the winter in a normal European season with no problems, please. The only reason this won’t be a snowy, icy mess is that there is no precipitation. Nonetheless, pumped to watch the match, but when anybody says “oh MLS could play through winter” I’ll bring up this match.

  3. dfstell - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    You know what… was a great match. Other than feeling a little sorry for the goalkeepers who were probably having a hard time catching in that cold, I didn’t notice the play suffering. Honestly, mid-summer games in Houston look a LOT worse as the players a wilting under 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

    This game illustrated that MLS can TOTALLY play though the winter. The cold isn’t the problem….it’s the snow. Northern cities around the world are used to building structures that account for their snowy winters. Some of the cities like Minneapolis are basically a warren of tunnels and stuff. Why can’t they just build the equivalent of a carport over their stadiums?

    • 15412pack - Nov 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      It’s only November and these temps are only in the 20s. That’s a warm day in Chicago come January/February. This on top of snow/sleet.

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