SBD/Issue 176/Events & Attractions

Giants/Jets Overcome Odds, Appear Favorites To Host Super Bowl

The Giants and Jets are the "overwhelming favorites" to be awarded Super Bowl XLVIII at the New Meadowlands Stadium when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the winning bid this afternoon "thanks to a confluence of events that began five years ago before really picking up steam just three months ago," according to Bart Hubbuch of the N.Y. POST. The "hugely influential backing of Goodell and the misfortune of competing bids in Arizona, Miami and South Florida can't be denied," but much of the credit for the bid's "strong standing" goes to Jets Owner Woody Johnson and Giants co-Owners John Mara and Steve Tisch. The Jets and Giants "have a long history of bickering," but the owners "put that disdain aside and worked smoothly together to bring one of the world's most popular sporting events ... to a place where few in the NFL ever dreamed possible." The idea of hosting the '14 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands "sounded ludicrous to many around the league and still seems that way to some, but there is no denying the momentum that built in recent months to put New York on the brink of this historical moment" (N.Y. POST, 5/23). ESPN N.Y.'s Rich Cimini wrote the Giants and Jets bid "probably won't happen on the first or second ballot ... but the feeling around the league is that New York/New Jersey has enough support to win on the third or fourth ballot" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 5/24). NFL Network's Jason La Canfora noted the South Florida and Tampa bids "have merit, but there is such a momentum, such a feeling that this is in the air." La Canfora: "Commissioner Goodell stands firmly behind it. Generally when he has thrown his support behind something, we’ve seen it come to fruition" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 5/24).

Kraft Reportedly Plans To Lobby Owners
For Votes For Giants/Jets Bid

KRAFT A BIG FAN OF BID: In N.Y., Gary Myers reported Patriots Owner Robert Kraft "plans to lobby owners for their vote in the meeting room." Kraft "told the Maras and Tischs he will do whatever he can to help," and he told Johnson the "same thing." Kraft said that he is "not doing this with the idea this game will set outdoor cold-weather precedent so he will get a Super Bowl" at Gillette Stadium, rather he is "doing it for New York, a city he loves" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/23). Kraft: "I'm a big supporter of having the Super Bowl in New York. It doesn't matter what the weather is. It's a great place. It's a great boost for the city. It's a reward to the people and fans of New York." In Boston, Albert Breer wrote, "You can see where Kraft might see a potential door opening. ... What'll be just as interesting as the seemingly inevitable decision to award the game to the Meadowlands is what the commish has to say about the impact of the decision, and whether or not he closes [the] door on cold-weather Super Bowls in the future" (BOSTON.com, 5/22). But Kraft added, "We're going to want to see how this one goes before committing (to Super Bowls in cold, open-air venues) beyond New York" (N.Y. POST, 5/25). More Kraft: "I personally like having games played outdoors. I think the greatest game in our history, except for the three Super Bowls we won, was the snow game here." Kraft also supports the Giants/Jets bid because he "appreciates what it took to erect the new billion-dollar-plus stadium" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/23).

OTHER PROMINENT SUPPORTERS: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said he is a "proponent" of a cold-weather Super Bowl. Jones: "The very nature of Super Bowl elements can be -- it doesn't have to be but it can be -- a common factor in how the season unfolds. So why can't it be a factor in how the ultimate champion is determined?" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/25). Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen: "It would be a great one-time thing. I personally love New York. I think it's a great place. I would imagine other owners feel the same way" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/25). Meanwhile, the four U.S. Sens. from New York and New Jersey -- Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) -- "wrote a letter to Goodell on Monday endorsing a possible New York-area Super Bowl." The letter read in part, "As the nation's most populous metro area with more than 19 million people, and as the nation's top media market, the fanfare of the Super Bowl would be uniquely enhanced by the vibrancy that the region has to offer" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/25). 

Many Consider New Meadowlands Stadium
A Virtual Lock For 2014 Super Bowl

FULL-SCALE COVERAGE: The DAILY NEWS' Myers wrote "another clue that this is a virtual lock" is that NFL Network is scheduled to "broadcast the Super Bowl selection show live" at 3:00pm ET today. Myers: "The network needs programming, but it's not likely they would air a 90-minute special to announce that Miami is getting the game for the 10th time or Tampa for the fifth time. The league did not waive its 50-degree weather requirement so it can vote down New York" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/23). On Long Island, Neil Best notes NFL Network "has been touting live, 90-minute coverage surrounding the announcement, with a host, two analysts and three reporters, one for each bidding city." Best: "Funny, I don't recall that sort of show for last year's news that New Orleans would host the 2013 Super Bowl" (NEWSDAY, 5/25). ESPN.com's John Clayton wrote, "The fact that the league is turning the vote into a mini-game show tells you the Super Bowl is probably heading to the New York area. They didn't have a Super Bowl selection show when South Florida and Tampa ... made their successful bids in past years" (ESPN.com, 5/20).

LEVERAGE FOR NAMING RIGHTS? In N.Y., Manish Mehta writes a winning bid for the Super Bowl would "provide the Jets and Giants some much-needed leverage in their ongoing search for a naming-rights sponsor for the new stadium." Their asking price has "dipped to below" $20M annually, but the "prestige of landing the Super Bowl ... may help accelerate the process and raise the asking price." Johnson: "I don't know if it will definitely speed up the process, but it definitely can't hurt. That might be an indirect benefit. It's hard to quantify what the value will be for a naming rights sponsor. But I think that certainly has some value." Mara: "It would be an attractive feature for a potential naming rights partner. It also creates a certain amount of excitement about the building, which I think -- in an indirect way -- can help spur sales of suites and club seats and sponsorships." Mehta notes the Dolphins "capitalized on hosting" Super Bowl XLIV this year by securing a five-year, $37.5M naming-rights agreement with Sun Life Financial in January (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/25). The N.Y. POST's Hubbuch reports the Jets' "inability to sell PSLs and the lack of success by both the Jets and Giants in landing a title sponsor for their new stadium hasn't gone unnoticed by other NFL owners." Kraft yesterday said that the "struggles on both of those fronts are a big reason why the joint Jets-Giants bid is expected to get" Super Bowl XLVIII (N.Y. POST, 5/25). ESPN.com's Clayton: "The cold, hard facts are how much having a New York Super Bowl would help the sale of premium seats at the expensive new Meadowlands stadium" (ESPN.com, 5/20).

MAKE IT HAPPEN: In Philadelphia, Michael Smerconish wrote the NFL "should play its biggest game on the world's biggest stage," as it is a "way to make a little history by invoking its history." Smerconish: "More than anything, it makes perfect football sense" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/23). In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote, "If the NFL is finally going to play a cold-weather Super Bowl outdoors, it has to be here. ... Biggest game, biggest stage. Let everybody else worry about the weather" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/24). NFL.com's Vic Carucci wrote staging the Super Bowl at New Meadowlands Stadium is a "good idea." Carucci: "Super Bowls are supposed to be memorable. They're supposed to provide a fan experience that no other game can offer. ... Everything about the look, sound, and feel of the stadium says spectacle of the highest proportions" (NFL.com, 5/24).

Many Worry About Impact Of Weather
On Potential New York Super Bowl

YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE: The N.Y. POST's Hubbuch noted N.Y. "already is getting blasted by skeptics and the disgruntled in advance" of today's vote. Conspiracy theorists "abound as New York's competitors for Super Bowl XLVIII grumble about too much influence from ... Goodell causing the owners to unfairly coronate the joint Giants-Jets bid over Tampa and South Florida." The Tampa Tribune Sunday featured a headline reading, "Super Bowl Race Appears To Be Rigged For N.Y." (N.Y. POST, 5/24). In Minneapolis, Michael Rand writes, "Is this a disaster waiting to happen or the greatest thing ever? The answer: yes. In other words, it could be both of those things" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/25). In New Orleans, John DeShazier writes under the header, "NFL Owners Should Just Say No To New York Super Bowl." DeShazier: "If the site of the Super Bowl isn't going to be determined by won-loss records, then sticking with the plan that gives the game the best chance to be played in the best conditions should be the preference. The marquee event should be given the best opportunity to be marquee" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/25). In Buffalo, Allen Wilson notes when former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle "created the Super Bowl, he preferred warm-weather, neutral sites for the league's showcase event." Holding the game in the "best possible conditions protects the quality of the game and ensures neither team has a weather advantage" (BUFFALO NEWS, 5/25). Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan: "Placing the Super Bowl in New Jersey on a February night in 2014 is like planning a marathon in Saudi Arabia on high noon on an August day. You cannot be serious!" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 5/23).

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