SBD/February 2, 2011/Events and Attractions

NFL Says Bad Weather Should Not Impact Super Bowl XLV Festivities

Jones calls ice storm in Dallas-Ft. Worth an "inordinate weather event"
The Dallas-Ft. Worth area was "all but paralyzed by icy conditions Tuesday that temporarily shut down Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, canceled hundreds of flights and closed schools," but the NFL said that it was "not concerned that the inclement weather would sack Super Bowl XLV week," according to Jon Saraceno of USA TODAY. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that weather "should not be a major issue going forward." Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said that the weather "would not affect future Super Bowl bids, even in cold-weather cities." Jones: "This was an inordinate weather event" (USA TODAY, 2/2). In San Antonio, Tom Osborn notes the weather "resulted in the collapse of a giant tent inside the Cotton Bowl that was scheduled to house three nights of Super Bowl-related concerts." Strong winds also "ripped holes in some tents outside Cowboys Stadium" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 2/2).

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS: In Dallas, Jeff Mosier notes ESPN's Chris Berman "has little doubt that the Super Bowl will return to Arlington, despite Tuesday's freezing temperatures and icy streets." Berman: "I don't really think it is going to matter very much. The owners, when they vote for Super Bowls, the concern is quality of stadium, number of seats, fan experience at the game and fantastic hotel accommodations." Berman noted that when Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXXIV in '00, "frigid weather and an ice storm hampered events there, and that left a bad taste in the mouth of some top NFL officials," but he "doesn't believe the same will hold true for North Texas." SI's Peter King said that the ice storm in Atlanta "happened closer to the game, and he said the league doesn't view the Georgia Dome as an ideal Super Bowl venue." King also noted that "one possible trump card for this area is the ability to sell more than 100,000 tickets." King: "I don't think you're going to see owners when they sit down and parcel out Super Bowls two years from now think back and say, 'Well, it was icy that week. We don't want to go back'" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/2).

INDY PREPARING FOR SIMILAR CONDITIONS: In Dallas, Theodore Kim notes Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee officials yesterday "took lessons learned for when they host the game next year," as Dallas "grappled with rough weather." Indianapolis has "embraced a cold weather message with the tagline, 'Get your winter on, it's cool.'" Host Committee Dir of Communications Dianna Boyce: "It's February in Indianapolis. It will most likely be cold. And so we're looking at every weather opportunity in Indianapolis" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/2). In Indianapolis, Jon Murray writes, "Consider this a practice run for next year, when a repeat storm in Indianapolis would cause even more headaches." But Indianapolis Department of Public Works Dir David Sherman said that the city "is ready" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/2).

LASTING EFFECT? ESPN's Chris Mortensen said it is "possible" the weather in North Texas could "affect how they award future Super Bowls." Mortensen noted both Sunday's Super Bowl and Super Bowl XLVI next year in Indianapolis will be played indoors, but added Super Bowl XLVIII in N.Y. in '14 "is interesting as we know because that's going to be an outdoor venue." Mortensen added of a N.Y. Super Bowl, "Not all the owners were on board with this ... but they're trying to reward those communities that are building new stadiums" ("SportsCenter at the Super Bowl," ESPN, 2/1). YAHOO SPORTS' Les Carpenter wrote the "question rose again: why, why, why does the NFL insist on playing its biggest game in cities that can not guarantee good weather?" Carpenter: "The success of the Super Bowl always came with balmy afternoons where fans and sponsors could enjoy golf junkets and the game was certain to be played in conditions no worse than rain. ... It was not an event where people were meant to be trapped inside." But in "recent years the awarding of the Super Bowl has become a political game, one in which powerful owners are rewarded for erecting outlandish palaces" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/1).

PROSPECTS FOR FUTURE COLD-WEATHER SITES
: In Denver, Jeff Legwold notes Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen has "consistently pitched Denver as a potential Super Bowl site to other NFL team owners," only to be rebuffed every time. Legwold: "Given what's happened here already this week, and what figures to happen when the festivities arrive in the New York area, the NFL may have to learn to say no to Bowlen another way. Simply objecting to the weather may not cut it anymore" (DENVER POST, 2/2). Meanwhile, Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico is pushing for a Super Bowl at Soldier Field, and in Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes, "Imagine if Chicago were awarded the 2016 Super Bowl and two feet of snow showed up the day of the game. Disastrous? That's probably a bit strong. Ridiculous? Absolutely." The "whole idea of the Super Bowl is for the two best teams to play in the best conditions possible" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/2).
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