SBD/February 8, 2011/Events and Attractions

Goodell Reiterates Belief North Texas A Contender For Future Super Bowls

Goodell feels North Texas did an outstanding job hosting Super Bowl
The situation that left 400 fans without seats to Sunday's Packers-Steelers Super Bowl XLV was the "latest in a series of setbacks that plagued North Texas' first Super Bowl," but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday "sounded an optimistic note for the area when asked if he could envision it hosting another Super Bowl," according to Tom Orsborn of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Goodell: "The owners vote on it, but I think (North Texas) did an outstanding job. It was a great event. I'm sure they will be seeking another Super Bowl, and I'm sure the owners will look at that very seriously." But Orsborn writes regional leaders who "want the game to return will have to battle bitter memories of a week marred by ice, snow, delays, cancellations and finally the seating fiasco" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 2/8). In Dallas, Jeff Mosier notes though Goodell has been one of the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee's "big backers in the past week," there still was "clearly room for improvement." Dallas Area Rapid Transit "struggled to keep its light rail system running," and ice on the roof of Cowboys Stadium "fell and injured people and also kept some gates closed on game day." Host Committee President & CEO Bill Lively said that "adjustments would be needed for future volunteer programs to take into account the distances people have to travel." Still, Lively said that he "wished no one had mentioned future Super Bowl bids." Lively: "I wish we hadn't gotten into the debate about the 50th Super Bowl. We should have just countered that and said that we're working on 45. Let's worry about another game later. ... It sort of distracted 45." Mosier notes Lively, Goodell and others all week "fielded questions about how the weather and other issues might affect the next bid" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/8).

TOO GOOD TO PASS UP ON: ESPN DALLAS' Todd Archer reported the host committee is responsible for the lead-up to the game, and the Super Bowl breakfast "had the largest attendance in the history of the game," the Taste of the NFL event "for the first time will deliver more than $1 million to food banks nationwide," and the Gala "drew more than 3,000, which also was a record." Lively said, "We're saddened by some of the ticket issues and some of the lines, but that is not what we do. We are affected by it because we care about it. ... The committee kept its commitments and did what it said. The game was a great game. The stadium looked great." He added, "The problems there are not insignificant problems, but I have to believe this: The stadium hosted the game so effectively, the revenue generation had to be tremendous for the owners. ... Some complained of the lines and the cold of last week, but the pervasive answer was, 'This has been fun. This stadium is just gangbusters.' And it is. So the NFL will benefit from this" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 2/7). Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said "manpower and timing issues caused inconveniences to some fans." But Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said of future Super Bowls, "I guarantee you without any doubt in my mind that they will come back the minute they are able to. There is just too much upside. You have these little bumps and bruises. That ain't (expletive)." He added playing Super Bowls at Cowboys Stadium "just makes too much sense." Cuban: "It's enclosed, it's beautiful, and it's got all the suites. It's an opportunity for everyone to do business and for the fans to have fun." Cuban said that "neither the league nor the Cowboys are to blame" for the seating fiasco. Cuban: "You work with vendors and you trust them, and sometimes they come through and sometimes they don't. And when they don't, they're not the ones that are going to look bad" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 2/7).

DESERVING OF A SECOND CHANCE: A DALLAS MORNING NEWS editorial states, "Did it all go perfectly? Obviously not." But the NFL "would be wise to keep North Texas in mind as it decides where to stage the 50th Super Bowl" in '16. The area will "have a better mobility plan in place next time around." DART "can't perform as poorly, although those train and bus freeze-ups certainly inconvenienced residents far more than guests." Organizers should "forget that quixotic quest to get a Super Bowl attendance record," and it was "unforgivable" that some fans were unable to be seated. The editorial: "These were not shining moments, but keep them in context. ... What North Texas has is the nation's most stunning football stadium and the warm hospitality of a people to put on the best show possible" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/8). In Austin, Cedric Golden wrote, "Jerry's Big Score resulted in a terrific Super Bowl. ... In fairness to Jerry, he can't control what falls from the sky and what sticks to the ground." Golden: "It turned out to be a nice event and Jerry should be commended. After a week of slipping and sliding, he landed on his feet and overcame several unforeseen circumstances to deliver a credible Super Bowl party. It was Jerry's first Super Bowl. And not his last" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 2/7).

Inclement weather is just one of many issues
Dallas faced in hosting its first Super Bowl
WHAT COULD GO WRONG OFTEN DID
: CSNBAYAREA.com's Ray Ratto wrote Super Bowl XLV was a "spectacular failure on all but football grounds," and was "one of the worst Super Bowls ever." Ratto: "All of the karma that comes of squeezing the money lemon until the seeds explode in your eye" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 2/7). In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino writes it was a "nightmarish week," as there was "none of the usual festive atmosphere associated with the game" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/8). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes Super Bowl XLV "will be remembered as the Hubris Bowl." Gay: "If XLV was a bed and breakfast, it would be getting buried on Trip Advisor" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/8). In Oklahoma City, Jenni Carlson writes it was the "Blunder Bowl," as "everything that could go wrong did" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 2/8). ESPN's Skip Bayless: "This was one long, disastrous week, and it almost felt like the football gods were punishing poor Jerry Jones" ("ESPN First Take," ESPN2, 2/7).

LESSONS LEARNED: Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Mark Miles said that the group "will announce detailed plans in the next few weeks for coping with worst-case weather scenarios" ahead of next year's Super Bowl in the city. Miles said that a lesson from Super Bowl XLV was the "value of reliable on-the-fly communication in the form of signage on the ground and updates to everyone affected by last-minute changes." Miles and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said that planners of next year's event "have two key advantages over this year's crew." The city and county government are "unified, making for less bureaucracy than was involved in the multiple jurisdictions hosting this year's event," and Super Bowl XLVI "will be much smaller, with events and hotels clustered in walkable Downtown Indianapolis" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/8). Dallas Morning News reporter Jeff Mosier said of the Indianapolis group, "I don't know that they expect to be in a rotation for future Super Bowls, so they can kind of go into this not having to worry quite as much about whether this will harm their chances of getting another Super Bowl" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 2/7).

THE WHOLE THING IS GETTING TOO BIG: In DC, Sally Jenkins writes, “Is this really what the NFL wants to become? A divorced-from-reality debauch?” She adds the “good” game was an “ancillary event,” and the league “may want to rethink” that strategy. Jenkins: “It may also want to rethink its tendency to look like the Marie Antoinette of the sports world. … A tipping point was reached with this Super Bowl, for me” (WASHINGTON POST, 2/8).
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