ATLANTA (AP) -- Hype and anticipation mounted in Atlanta -- for the Super Bowl, of course, and for a winter storm that took its time arriving.
Early Saturday, a light coat of freezing rain was falling on the area. The National Weather Service backed off on its predictions of snow, but said freezing rain, followed by sleet and rain showers, would fall.
The icy conditions forced the Georgia Department of Transportation to suspend shuttle service between Super Bowl hotels and the Georgia Dome, site of Sunday's game.
Given an entire week to prepare for the storm, the NFL all but guaranteed the Super Bowl would be played.
''All the plans are the same,'' NFL vice president of special events Jim Steeg said. ''We just have to keep a sense of flexibility and be ready for whatever happens.''
The league took several precautions to make sure the game would go on, including:
--Piling sand outside the Georgia Dome in case ramps and entryways become slick.
--Rescheduling a rehearsal for the pregame show in the Georgia Dome so both teams could hold their final full practices indoors Friday.
--Stationing workers on the Georgia Dome roof to brush off snow or excess water should it accumulate.
--Making sure all the food and drinks arrive at the stadium early to prevent delivery trucks from having to negotiate slick roads.
--Placing 16 power generators at the Georgia Dome to provide emergency energy should ice and snow knock out power to the downtown area.
James Peters of Georgia Power says downtown Atlanta is networked for power underground.
''It's very, very rare that an outage occurs,'' Peters said. ''If an outage does occur, we do have contingency plans in place.''
Those traveling to the game started making contingency plans, as well.
Anticipating nasty weather, Delta Airlines canceled a handful of flights, including four from Nashville to Atlanta, the most popular route for Titans fans.
The decision left travel agencies in Tennessee scrambling.
''It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me,'' said Suzette Bertuccelli, manager of Embassy Travel in Nashville. ''They usually don't cancel until inclement weather hits. We've just gotten a couple of calls this morning from people wanting to get protected on another flight.''
Some who made it in from other cities felt fortunate.
''All the flights after ours were canceled,'' said Todd Benson, who was traveling with friends from Kansas City, Mo.
Reservation managers at two large downtown hotels, the Hyatt and Marriott, said the number of room cancellations through Friday were negligible.
The NFL has no plans to redistribute tickets that aren't picked up.
''The league isn't really in a position to do that,'' Steeg said. ''Now, if Coke learns that half its group isn't going to make it in, it's their decision.''
But Steeg doesn't anticipate seeing a half-empty Georgia Dome come Sunday.
He recalled the 1987 Super Bowl, when the Giants played the Broncos in Pasadena, Calif., and a giant snowstorm closed airports in the New York area in the days leading up to the game.
The Rose Bowl was brimming and hardly any Giants fans missed the game.
''Hotels and everyone else are good at adjusting to what needs to be done with that,'' Steeg said. ''People will adjust, too. They've got four days to get here, and they'll find a way. That's what it amounts to.''
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