The Super Bowl is always a hot ticket, but this year, thanks to a heat wave, that will really be the case.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Los Angeles County from Wednesday through Sunday evening, warning of an increased risk of heat-related illnesses.
Highs in the mid- to upper 80s are expected through the rest of the week, with lows in the mid-50s.
The heat will still be kicking by Sunday’s kickoff, with a high in the mid-80s expected in Inglewood, home of the Super Bowl venue, SoFi Stadium, forecasters said.
That's as much as 20 degrees above normal highs, and records could fall, said Joe Sirard, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Oxnard.
The heat wave is the result of high pressure high above California that was pushing air from desert regions down mountain slopes and into urban basins and valleys, forecasters said. Warm offshore winds will punctuate the high temperatures with warm breezes Wednesday and moderate gusts Thursday.
Isolated winds of 60 mph could take place Thursday before they mellow for the weekend, federal forecasters said.
Cincinnati fans heading to Southern California to root on the Bengals against the Los Angeles Rams may welcome the weather. It's forecast to be twice as hot in Los Angeles as it is back home in Ohio, Sirard said.
"We have a lot of out-of-town guests coming for the big game," he said. "It might be a shock."
Cincinnati is expecting highs in the 40s this week, with lows in the low 30s.
For most Southern Californians, the weather is likely to be no big deal. But visitors from colder climes should note a few things, Sirard and the National Weather Service said:
Hot means hot. Temperatures near the 90s will mean mid-summer-like days. People should dress for it and have liquids at the ready.
It's still winter. Temperatures will plunge into the mid-50s at night, so bikinis and board shorts won't suffice. Those who plan to be outdoors past sundown should pack an extra layer.
Summer air, winter seas. Thanks to Hollywood, many Americans think Southern California is one giant beach party. It rarely is. The Pacific is cold along the coast. Winter brings the biggest, most dangerous waves, and water temperatures are in the high 50s, which can make the water feel icy.
The beaches were expected to be only a few degrees cooler than inland areas through Sunday because cold sea breezes are likely to be pushed back by offshore winds, Sirard said.
A tempered Pacific is why SoFi Stadium, despite being within just 5 miles of the ocean, will offer very slight relief, with temperatures a few degrees lower than what's expected in downtown Los Angeles through the weekend, he said.
So will the weather factor into the action on the field? The Rams, who will be competing in their regular season home, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
In January, days before the Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19, the Bengals' coaching staff saw cold weather at home as an advantage.
None of the NFL's list of top 10 weather games in the league's history involves heat. One, the 1982 AFC championship matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the Bengals in Cincinnati, recorded a wind chill of 59 degrees below zero, according to the league.
The History Channel called it the "Freezer Bowl" and named it as the coldest NFL game in history.