How will the cold affect fans and players at the Packers game?

GREEN BAY (WITI) -- Thousands of football fans arrived in Green Bay Saturday, January 4th ahead of the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game between the Packers and San Francisco 49ers. It seems everyone is talking about one thing -- how cold it will be.

For those from Wisconsin, the 30 degree temperatures on Saturday were a much-needed break from the harsh cold. Some fans, however, arrived into town from much warmer climates.

"I am from Mexico City," said Rossina Rios. "I'm going to buy, right now, another jacket because tomorrow I think we're expecting like minus 19."

The frigid game day forecast is already drawing comparison's to 1967's Ice Bowl. The Packers are promising up to 70,000 fans seated outside free hot drinks and hand warmers.

"We've got first aid areas throughout the stadium if fans have a little bit of exposure issues," said Aaron Popkey, Packers Director of Public Affairs.

For the players, the game will be a mental and biological test. Experts say quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have the biggest challenge in keeping his hands warm.

"The nerves start to slow down," said James Marker, UW-Green Bay Associate Professor of Human Biology. "If they get cold, that's going to impair their ability to grip or throw the ball."

The cold ball is also going to feel much different in players' hands.

"The leather will become less pliable, less elastic, and so it will become a lot more like playing with a rock, an underinflated rock," said Associate Professor of Physics Mike Hencheck.

Hencheck says the kickers and wide receivers will probably struggle the most when it comes to handling the ball in the cold weather -- predicting more shallow passes and less efficient kicks.