SBD/Issue 177/Events & Attractions

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  • Giants/Jets Survive Tense Vote To Land Super Bowl XLVIII In '14

    NFL Owners Make History By Awarding 2014
    Super Bowl To New Meadowlands Stadium

    The NFL's vote on the host for Super Bowl XLVIII "dragged on for four tortuous rounds before the owners finally made history" yesterday by awarding the game to the Giants and Jets and New Meadowlands Stadium, according to Bart Hubbuch of the N.Y. POST. The N.Y./N.J. area will become the "first region with average February temperatures below 50 degrees and an open-air stadium to hold the big game." While the joint bid for the '14 game was "long billed as a chip-shot field goal," several owners yesterday "fretted over the chance of brutal February weather ... ruining the sport’s marquee event." In addition to the Buccaneers and Dolphins -- which both also bid to host the game -- the Ravens, Texans, Bills and Cardinals were "among the teams that confirmed voting against New York throughout all four votes." The final vote remains a "closely guarded secret known only to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league official who tabulated the totals, but the gravity of the final outcome could not be denied." Giants President & CEO John Mara: "It’s a huge relief. I want to thank the owners for having confidence in our ability to host this game and for having the guts to want to make some history" (N.Y. POST, 5/26). Mara after the vote said, "The only concern that any owner expressed to us was the weather. One or two owners were concerned about setting a precedent for other cold-weather sites. Most of the people we spoke to were extremely supportive." Although Goodell "downplayed his role to help New York/New Jersey become the first outdoor cold-weather Super Bowl host, he admitted that he'd continue to challenge owners to think outside the box" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26).

    INSIDE THE BIDS: In DC, Mark Maske notes the Giants/Jets bid included "contingency plans for dealing with inclement weather, plus accommodations for fans such as fire pits in the parking lots and heated seat cushions and hand warmers in the stands" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/26). ESPN N.Y.'s Rich Cimini notes New Meadowlands Stadium will have "hundreds of folks ready to shovel away snow and anything else they can do to make the experience more than just bearable." The Giants/Jets bid presentation featured a "video that included clips from historic cold-weather games, including Adam Vinatieri's ... field goal for the Patriots in the 2001 divisional playoffs in Foxborough" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 5/25). In N.Y., Gary Myers reports while the presentation "highlighted the positives of winter football, New York ... didn't use one celebrity." The Tampa bid video "had an impassioned speech from Tampa resident Dick Vitale," which one owner thought "was ridiculous" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26). 

    SEEKING SHELTER FROM THIS STORM: In Miami, Greg Cote writes under the header, "NFL Goes Insane With Super Bowl In New Jersey." Cote: "The league should be arrested for prostitution, because, in effect, the NFL has broken its own rules on mild-climate Super Bowls to reward the Jets and Giants for building a $1.6 billion stadium." He adds, "You're going to play a Super Bowl in the bitter cold with a probability of snow by choice!? ... Why play the biggest of all games in fair weather? Makes too much sense" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/26). SPORTINGNEWS.com’s Mike Florio wrote there is a “fine line between being edgy and going loco,” and yesterday’s decision “makes us wonder whether plenty of people have lost their marbles.” The Super Bowl is the “single greatest day on the American sports calendar,” and it “needs to be protected from circumstances that can make the experience something other than super” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/25). In Austin, Cedric Golden writes the "most important game in professional sports should not be played in an area where bad weather can overshadow what's happening on the field" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 5/26). USA TODAY's Reid Cherner: "Cold-weather football during the regular season is among the most pleasurable things to watch in sports. A Super Bowl dictated by the elements is another kettle of frozen fish" (USA TODAY, 5/26). CBSSPORTS.com's Clark Judge: "Having a Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in February makes about as much sense as holding the NHLs' next Winter Classic in Tampa" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/25). In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz: "So when's the Cleveland Super Bowl?" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/26).

    Hill Says Super Bowl In N.Y.
    Should Create Buzz

    LET IT SNOW! Fox Sports Chair & CEO David Hill, whose network will broadcast Super Bowl XLVIII, yesterday said, "It's different and should create buzz for months leading up to it, and if we're really lucky, it will begin snowing right after halftime" (THE DAILY). In Austin, Kirk Bohls writes football is "moving outdoors -- where the game was meant to be played." MLB can "play the World Series in November, so if the boys of summer can play in frigid temperatures, surely the gridiron gang can as well" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 5/26). A N.Y. DAILY NEWS editorial states the NFL "made a brilliant decision" yesterday. The editorial: "So what if it's outdoors in February. The players can take it, and the crowd can take it for a few hours on a Sunday evening" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26).

    WHAT SHOULD WE NAME IT? In Newark, Jenny Vrentas notes one of the "benefits of landing" the Super Bowl is that the search process for a stadium naming-rights sponsor "could be jump-started." New Meadowlands Stadium Co. President & CEO Mark Lamping said, "Obviously it has a benefit." Lamping noted stadium officials have been in talks with "around five" possible title sponsors, though he added "nothing is imminent." But the Giants and Jets remain "hopeful they'll find the right partner" to title the stadium, which hosts its first football game this fall (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/26). Jets Owner Woody Johnson said hosting the Super Bowl "will help us with sponsors, things like naming rights." Johnson: "If a company is interested and a billion people looking at what he sells or what he's doing, I think that probably will have some benefit" ("America's Nightly Scoreboard," Fox Business, 5/25). ESPN N.Y.'s Cimini wrote with a "Super Bowl coming to town, the stadium should be more attractive to companies." Meanwhile, the Jets, "perhaps more than the Giants, needed the Super Bowl" as the team still has "thousands of unsold PSLs, and the exposure and cache of hosting a Super Bowl is bound to help ticket sales" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 5/25).

    HATS OFF TO WOODY JOHNSON: The DAILY NEWS' Myers notes the Super Bowl at New Meadowlands Stadium was Johnson's idea "after he failed to get his West Side Stadium and instead became partners with the Giants." The NFL had "promised Johnson the 2010 Super Bowl had he been able to seal the deal on the West Side." Mara said, "Woody started pushing this idea on me about four years ago when we first entered into this partnership and was absolutely relentless about it. He finally convinced me this is the right way to go and I want to thank him for doing that." Myers notes the Giants and Jets "always had the backing of three of the NFL's most powerful" owners -- Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft and Pat Bowlen -- and the Rooney family also supported the bid "after initially expressing doubt" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26). ESPN N.Y.'s Cimini noted Johnson played an "absolutely vital role in landing the Super Bowl." People told him that a "cold-weather Super Bowl wouldn't fly, but Johnson didn't back down." Mara and fellow Giants Owner Steve Tisch yesterday "offered unsolicited praise of Johnson's tenacity" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 5/25). On Long Island, Bob Glauber writes under the header, "Woody's Dream Made It Happen" (NEWSDAY, 5/26). The vote was a "clear nod of appreciation to the Giants and Jets for building" their stadium without public funds (N.Y. POST, 5/26). The selection also was said to "be a way to respect" late Giants Owner Wellington Mara (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/26).

    CHANGING THE FORMATION: In L.A., Sam Farmer writes in a "larger sense, the league's willingness to try something new -- a risk not everyone agrees with -- is reflective of Commissioner Roger Goodell's push to be innovative in an increasingly competitive marketplace." Since Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue in '06, the Pro Bowl has changed dates to garner "more exposure," overtime rules have been changed for the playoffs and there is a "very realistic possibility that two meaningless exhibition games will be replaced by regular-season games." In addition, the league moved the NFL Draft to primetime during the week, made the scouting combine a "made-for-TV event" and pushed divisional games "to the end of the season to give teams incentive to play hard all the way through their schedules." Goodell is "not directly responsible for all of these things," but NFL insiders say that he is "relentless when it comes to pushing the envelope to best position the league and maximize revenue streams." Farmer: "That's vital for a game that's going to have an increasingly difficult time coaxing fans off their couches and into stadiums" (L.A. TIMES, 5/26).

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  • Miami To Bid For Future SB; Official Says "Fix Was In" For N.Y.

    South Florida Has Already Begun
    Pursuing 2015 Super Bowl

    Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said he is "disappointed" Sun Life Stadium did not win the right to host Super Bowl XLVIII in '14, but both he and South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto "vowed the pursuit of the 2015 game has already begun," according to Sarah Talalay of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. South Florida's bid for the '14 game was "made without the promise of stadium upgrades, which NFL officials said might be needed to ensure Sun Life Stadium remains competitive for Super Bowls among newer, glitzier venues." Dee said that "work on how to revamp the 23-year-old stadium for the Dolphins as well as future Super Bowls is continuing and he expects to have more details within the next five months" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/26). Barreto said, "I think the fix was in for New York. We threw $1 million extra on the table last night (for operating expenses). I know that was more than Tampa put on the table. We probably could have put $10 million on the table and it wouldn't have made a difference. The NFL's cut new territory here. It's somewhat of a gamble, especially if you have a Nor'easter come through, shut down airports and so forth." Barreto and Dee said that the process was a "wakeup call for future bids to stage the game at Sun Life Stadium." Dee: "We're driving an older car, and everybody else is driving a new car. That doesn't mean it's a bad car. But we've got to do what it takes to keep [it] on the road and keep it running and make sure that it puts us in a position that we can still compete" (ESPN.com, 5/25). 

    DOUBLE STANDARD: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes awarding the game to New Meadowlands Stadium "shows how goofy" NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "has been on this issue." Goodell recently said that the Super Bowl "wouldn't return to South Florida until a few hundred million dollars were spent on a stadium roof," and "that's because it rained once in 10 Super Bowls held there." Now Goodell is "taking the big game to New York, where there is no roof on the new stadium" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/26). In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda writes the move "makes it difficult for ... Goodell to back up his recent argument that South Florida isn't likely to host the championship game again unless the Sun Life Stadium facility is improved in several ways, including the installation of some kind of mini-roof to protect the fans, at least, against the elements" (PALM BEACH POST, 5/26).

    Glazer (r), Tampa Careful Not To Blame
    Goodell (l) For Super Bowl Going To N.Y.

    TAMPA TAKES LOSS IN STRIDE: Buccaneers co-Chair Bryan Glazer said that Tampa officials "likely will bid for the 2015 or 2016 Super Bowl, but no final decision has been made" (ESPN.com, 5/25). ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas noted many media members have noted Goodell "steered this game to New York," but Tampa bid officials were "very careful not to point fingers" at Goodell. The Tampa bid finished a "close second" to N.Y., and Glazer and the members of the bid committee "seemed to take some consolation in making the vote closer than many expected." Glazer: "This has gotten us well positioned for getting another Super Bowl in Tampa" (ESPN.com, 5/25). Arizona was also on yesterday's ballot despite dropping its bid for Super Bowl XLVIII, and the Cardinals are "expected to bid for the 2015 Super Bowl" (AP, 5/25).

    NEW PRECEDENT: In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes yesterday's "chilling decision ... leads us to believe this city's chances of getting back in the big game's rotation may have gone cold." Canepa: "It's hard to see a new rotation popping up, if at all. The lid has been ripped from the can of worms, folks. And I can't believe the fallout isn't going to be widespread by the prevailing winds of ego and greed, that it will be halted with this singular decision." Despite the "love" of San Diego among NFL owners, the Super Bowl "now is rolling along like an all-weather vehicle, and it has passed San Diego by." Former Chargers Exec VP & COO Jim Steeg, who previously served as NFL Senior VP/Special Events, said of awarding the Super Bowl to a cold-weather city, "It's going to be a can of worms. I remember when Denver wanted it in the worst way, and we talked them out of it. This thing is open for discussion now" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/26). Former NFL coach Sam Wyche said he had "no problem" with yesterday's announcement, but added, "I'd rotate it through warm-weather resort cities like Miami, Tampa, Phoenix and New Orleans. You're treated like royalty for a week, so you like for everything to be comfortable while you're doing it" (PALM BEACH POST, 5/26). Saints Exec VP & CFO Dennis Lauscha said that he “hopes to see New Orleans get back to bidding for the championship game again soon.” He added, “When you start moving away from that, whether it is a cold weather city or you are spread out, it’s just not as good of an experience as it is in New Orleans. I am biased” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/26).

    CREATING A NEW ROTATION: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote the "truth is the NFL's rotation of host cities isn't deep." Wetzel: "No stadium in California is considered modern enough. They want improvements in Miami. Arizona has some political deals going that are a factor. So the league can stick to a small rotation or give this a shot and disprove conventional wisdom" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/25). In DC, Rick Snider writes the NFL should rotate the Super Bowl to “northern cities at least once every four years.” South Florida, Tampa, New Orleans, San Diego and Glendale are “superb sites, but the league has 32 teams and everyone’s fans should get the game at least once in their lifetime” (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 5/26). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I don't mind if every five years a cold-weather port gets this" ("PTI," ESPN, 5/25).

    A LONG TIME COMING: ESPN N.Y.'s Ian O'Connor wrote, "What in the world took so long? How could Miami get 10 Super Bowls before New York got one? How could Tampa get four before New York got one? How could the likes of Detroit, Pontiac, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Glendale and Indianapolis all land the Super Bowl before someone decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the only national holiday in sports from off-Broadway to, you know, Broadway?" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 5/25). Comcast SportsNet's Greg Papa: "I'm surprised that the NFL has not put the Super Bowl in New York before with the old Meadowlands" ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 5/25).

    Cowboys Stadium May Try To Join
    Super Bowl's Unofficial Rotation

    LONE STAR STATE OF MIND: In Dallas, Todd Archer notes North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee Chair Roger Staubach is "already talking about making a run at Super Bowl L, which is the first one the area can bid on after Super Bowl XLV." But "in order to get into some sort of unofficial rotation," Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium "will have to be a hit first." Staubach: "We want to get it back again, so we want to do it right. We've raised our funds. We've done a pretty good job. People have been generous ... so we're going to be able to put on a really great Super Bowl for the NFL" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/26). Meanwhile, in Ft. Worth, Pete Alfano reported NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz "made an unannounced visit to North Texas last week to 'tweak' plans for Super Bowl XLV." Supovitz said that "when the NFL returns for its second scheduled visit the week of June 14, the final plans will be presented and implemented to everyone involved in Super Bowl XLV." Supovitz added the NFL will move into Cowboys Stadium "right after the Cotton Bowl moves out." Supovitz: "That's when we'll build the compounds outside the stadium and build a hard perimeter" (STARTELEGRAM.com, 5/25).

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  • Will Meadowlands Super Bowl Lead To More Cold-Weather Sites?

    Will Meadowlands Stadium's Landing Of A
    Super Bowl Increase Other Cold Cities' Chances?

    It remains unclear "whether the chances had been bolstered" for cities "with chilly weather in February to host a Super Bowl" following New Meadowlands Stadium yesterday landing Super Bowl XLVIII in '14, according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder said he thought DC "should get one, no matter what." Snyder: "It is the nation's capital." Giants Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch said Snyder "'may be right' in believing that Washington should host the game." Tisch: "I don't think it's at all unrealistic for (New England Patriots owner) Bob Kraft, for Dan Snyder. We're opening a door. One thing that will be significant is 2014 and how it all goes -- logistically, the weather. If things go relatively well, I think it's going to be better than a long shot that other East Coast cities try to do what we did. I think that's going to be a big factor." But Maske notes some owners "seemed to regard this as a one-time-only maneuver tied to the enormity of the New York market and the construction" of New Meadowlands Stadium. Giants President & CEO John Mara: "Let's face it: There's only one New York City, and we have a stadium that I think is second to none" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/26).

    ONE AT A TIME: In N.Y., Manish Mehta notes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday "stopped short of saying that yesterday's vote would open the door for places such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Green Bay, Denver or Washington, D.C., that may have an eye on the game's showcase event." Goodell: "I think each game is going to be made on an individual basis. I do believe that New York is a unique market. I think the membership recognizes that." Buccaneers co-Chair Joel Glazer: "This is about New York and a unique situation. We'll see how the experience is and see how everything goes from there" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26). Steelers President Art Rooney II: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s a one-time exemption. In the future, we have to stick to our guidelines” (NJ.com, 5/25). Lions President Tom Lewand: “I certainly don’t think there’s any appetite at all to make it a regular occurrence. But as a once-in-a-generation kind of event, I can see where there’s a certain level of excitement” (DETROIT NEWS, 5/26). Mara said of future northern Super Bowls, "Let's get through this one first" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/26). The AP’s Jaime Aron noted, “If the NFL decides to wait and see how this foray into the great outdoors in winter goes, it could be until about 2019 or 2020 to try again because it takes a year or two to put together a bid for a game that's another four years away” (AP, 5/25).

    Snyder Hopes DC's Chances Of Hosting A
    Super Bowl Improved By N.Y. Winning Bid
    ONCE THE CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG....: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell writes staging the Super Bowl "at open-air stadiums in other Northern venues just received a gust of optimism." Snyder indicated that given the Giants and Jets' successful bid, DC "now has a better chance of landing a Super Bowl." Snyder: "This probably helps us in a big way. A positive experience in 2014 could help sway anybody who is hesitant because of their perceptions about cold weather" (USA TODAY, 5/26). FANHOUSE.com's Josh Alper noted Snyder "might be the first owner to express this viewpoint, but you can be sure he won't be the last one to jockey for the game." Alper: "Once the seal is broken on playing the game outdoors in wintry environs, there's nothing to stop Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, among others, from trying to leverage their investments in the league into a Super Bowl in the future" (FANHOUSE.com, 5/25). In Toronto, Mike Ganter writes, “Don’t tell me Daniel Snyder is going to happily go along with a Super Bowl in New York if he doesn’t have some assurances that the opportunity now exists for him to host one in Washington” (TORONTO SUN, 5/26). In New Jersey, J.P. Pelzman writes there is "nothing stopping owners of franchises in other cold-weather cities from saying 'what about us?' now that this barrier has been broken" (Bergen RECORD, 5/26). ESPN's Tedy Bruschi: "All of these other owners in cold-weather cities are hoping and praying it goes well ... because if that happens then the door gets opened" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 5/25).Tisch said, "Will other East Coast teams try to do the same? I'm sure they will. I think we opened the door to a lot of new possibilities. Hopefully, history will keep being made and remade and remade, and we made it today" (NFL Network, 5/25).

    OTHER TEAMS SPEAK OUT: Eagles Owner Jeff Lurie said that he "definitely will explore the possibility of a Philadelphia Super Bowl, but acknowledged that warm-weather cities or cities with a domed stadium always are going to have the upper hand." Lurie: "We certainly have an outstanding combination of assets, including an expansive infrastructure built to host large events and conventions. ... If the league supports more northern games, we would pursue" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/26). Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips said it is "hard to say" whether other cold-weather sites might be considered. Philips: "I would look at it as more of a unique opportunity, but that doesn't prevent anybody from applying if they meet all the qualifications" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/26). Ravens coach John Harbaugh: "You put one in New York, then come on down here to Baltimore and we'll have a Super Bowl, too. That's what I'd be for. Baltimore built a stadium, put a lot of money into a brand new stadium. So you start bringing it up here, I think we want one" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/25). Meanwhile, in Boston, Albert Breer notes Robert Kraft "wasn't particularly optimistic that the Patriots would ever be able to lure the Super Bowl to Gillette Stadium." Kraft: "I think for us it's probably, realistically, not going to happen" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/26). Broncos CEO Joe Ellis in an e-mail said there are "no plans" for Denver to pursue the Super Bowl. But in Colorado Springs, Frank Schwab noted Bowlen has “publicly stated his desire for Denver to host a Super Bowl before, so there’s a chance he could try again” (GAZETTE.com, 5/25).

    SOON TO BE A TREND? In N.Y., Judy Battista writes cold-weather Super Bowls "are unlikely to become the norm, but the NFL has made no promise that the New York-New Jersey game would be a one-time cold-weather event" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/26). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Darren Everson writes, "Enough with Super Bowls in Tampa and Jacksonville." It is "easy to understand why the NFL has, until now, put the Super Bowl in a warm place." The league "wanted to make sure people would go," but those days "are over" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/26). Meanwhile, in L.A., Sam Farmer wrote it will be "very interesting to see what happens this decade" in terms of future Super Bowl sites, "because it's entirely possible there will Super Bowls in Los Angeles and London, whether those cities have teams or not." DC, Chicago and New England "can also make compelling arguments for playing host to the games" (LATIMES.com, 5/25).

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