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SBD/February 1, 2012/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Fans were allowed to attend Super Bowl Media Day for the first time yesterday with some buyers “paying more than $350 on the secondary market” for a $25 ticket, according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The NFL “limited attendance to 7,300 fans.” Fans were given radios “with six channels to hear comments from the most prominent players and coaches.” Attendees also were “able to tune into the NFL Network’s coverage of the event on their radios.” The stadium's large video monitors were “streaming footage from six podiums at one time, and fans had the option of tuning into whichever of those players they liked.” Schoettle noted the “biggest cheer came when Eli Manning took the field to answer questions” (IBJ.com, 1/31). Giants President & CEO John Mara said of media day, “I can think of more exciting ways to spend the day. But the fans seem to be enjoying it very much. Not many have left. We will have to consider discussing how else we can involve the fans in these kinds of events.” In N.Y., Bill Pennington notes there was “a public address announcer working the floor of the stadium, occasionally giving commentary to the day’s events.” Fans seemed “most interested in quietly listening to the players having unedited conversations.” John Kanis, a fan who drove the nearly two hours from Cincinnati, said, “I wanted to get a taste of the Super Bowl and I wasn’t spending $2,500 on a ticket. For $25, that’s a good business deal” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1). ESPN's Adam Schefter said, "The one thing that’s a hallmark of Roger Goodell’s job as commissioner is looking for ways to innovate and change and improve the game, and the NFL found one today" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/31).
MEDIA MONITORS: In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino writes the fans “appeared to be having a good time and cheered on occasion when a player was flashed on the scoreboard but generally quietly watched the activity.” It will be “interesting to see if the fans will be as eager to buy tickets for Media Day next year in New Orleans, which has been a frequent Super Bowl site” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION 2/1). "The Dan Patrick Show's" Paul Pabst said, “This was a good step. ... They didn’t let the fans down on the field to ask questions because that would have been kind of messy, but it was a good crowd, people were having a good time” ("Chicago Tribune Live," Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 1/31). In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik writes, “I thought I had seen everything in terms of sports ticket sales, but people willing to pay $25 to watch media day at the Super Bowl is a new high -- or low. And that’s not a knock at the NFL. If there are people willing to pay, by all means charge” (POST-GAZETTE.com, 2/1). In Toronto, Mike Rutsey wonders, “Why anyone would bother to watch reporters mill around and toss out questions -- none of which could be heard by the fans -- is beyond me. Why they would pay ... for the right is something of a sanity test” (TORONTO SUN, 2/1). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said he had no problem with selling tickets to the event "if people want to be dopey enough to just go and look at guys on the screen or see them talk to people, and people are." Wilbon: "Americans will go in huge numbers to a stadium. They can sell 80,000 tickets next year at a $100 a pop because people will go watch NFL players in a uniform take a nap on a circle on the field. ... I'm surprised somebody didn't already think of this" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/31).
SCOUTING COMBINE NEXT? In L.A., Sam Farmer reports the NFL is “considering a similar arrangement for the scouting combine in late February.” Mara said, "I think that's worthy of a discussion. Our biggest struggle with the combine is trying to get as many of the players as possible to actually compete, and do the drills, and to run and everything. Whether this would encourage that, I don't know. I think there's a feeling that if it would encourage it, then maybe we'd consider doing it" (L.A. TIMES, 2/1).
EUROPEAN VACATION: Colts Owner Jim Irsay Monday alluded that the NFL may consider playing Super Bowl L, the 50th anniversary of the game, in London in '16. ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “If you put the Super Bowl there, 50,000 American fans will still be there. ... It makes more sense to put the Super Bowl there than a regular-season game, which makes no sense whatsoever." ESPN's Wilbon said the NFL “is always looking for new ... revenue streams, and so you get it overseas, you try to put your print there.” However, the one thing the NFL has been “unable to do is force interest on other countries" (“PTI,” ESPN, 1/31). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said he would “absolutely” be in favor of London hosting the Super Bowl. Paige: “Let me mention some cities: Jacksonville, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis. Of course you put it over in London and let the Europeans and people from all around the world go to the game. ... We have to spread this game throughout the world and this is the way to do it.” But columnist Kevin Blackistone called the idea “ridiculous.” Blackistone: “Is the EPL going to play their championship over here? The FA Cup, is that coming over here? Of course not.” ESPN’s J.A. Adande wondered why the NFL is “concerned about the Europeans being able to enjoy the game?" Adande: "What about the fans of the actual teams participating?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/31).
The NFL relishes associating the Super Bowl "with celebrity and glamour, but the choice of Indianapolis as host for this year's game has struck a more authentic tone," according to Simon Evans of REUTERS. It feels like "at the heart of this week, for once, is the sport itself and Indianapolis is a sports town." Perhaps the experience will "prompt NFL decision-makers to give some thought to bringing their biggest event to more cities in the midwest and other parts of [America] where fans truly relish the sport" (REUTERS, 1/31). SI.com's Chris Burke wrote there is a "long way to go between now and Super Bowl Sunday but, so far, so good." From the walkways "connecting many of downtown’s major venues to an ample number of restaurants and bars to an army of volunteers, Indianapolis has made a terrific first impression on the swarm of people arriving for football’s showcase week" (SI.com, 1/30). NFL.com's Adam Rank wrote, "I would like to welcome Indianapolis into the Super Bowl rotation. Honestly, the city has been this remarkable and I'm not sure I've been here for 24 hours yet" (NFL.com, 1/30). Syndicated radio host Jim Rome said, "Indy's been great. Sometimes when you roll out to a Super Bowl venue, you've got all the talking heads on Radio Row crying about the set-up, crying about the weather, crying about the town. Indy so far has been great. Everything is centrally located, it's all right there. Things are going down, there's a lot of energy, there's a great vibe" ("The Jim Rome Show," 1/31). Former NFLer and Indianapolis native Rosevelt Colvinsaid, “I feel very, very proud of what Indianapolis has done. You walk around the city, you walk around downtown and the way aesthetically they've tried to address the whole Super Bowl situation and it looks great” (“NBC Sports Talk,” NBC Sports Network, 1/31). CBSSports.com’s Gregg Doyel wrote on Twitter, “Indianapolis, by the way, is putting on the best Super Bowl yet, at least from my perspective. Loving it here.” CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson tweeted, “Indy mayor Greg Ballard just walked over, introduced himself, asked if I was enjoying my trip. Hospitality off the charts.”
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: In Indianapolis, Matthew Tully notes foreign reporters "seemed genuinely impressed by what they'd learned about Indianapolis since arriving." The London Sun's Simon Veness said, "I'm not just saying this: Indianapolis has put the super back in Super Bowl. ... This city is the first one we've seen that has really embraced the Super Bowl concept." Tully writes, "Time and again, the foreign journalists I talked to said it was cool to see a city so jazzed about hosting such an event" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/1). Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said of the economic impact on the city, “It's a wide range that the NFL estimates -- $150-400 million. I think we'll be in the $200-250 million range." He added, "We've done so much in the city. ... There's so many things happening as a result of this Super Bowl" ("NBC Sports Talk," NBC Sports Network, 1/30).
MOTHER NATURE IS COOPERATING: NBC Sports Network's Russ Thaler noted it was 60 degrees in Indianapolis yesterday and said, "I can't help but think that Jerry Jones is looking up to the heavens saying, ‘Really?’” The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram’s Charean Williams said, “He was a year too early on getting this Super Bowl. They won by one vote over Indianapolis in that first vote to get last year's Super Bowl and looking back on it, I guess he wishes Indy would have beaten them and they had the Super Bowl this year” ("NBC Sports Talk," NBC Sports Network, 1/31).
ONLINE SHOPPING: In L.A., Jim Peltz noted Costco's website is "offering three ticket packages for" Super Bowl XLVI. They include a single-ticket package "for $2,999.99 and a pair of two-ticket packages, one priced at $9,999 and the other at $15,499.99." Costco Assistant Buyer Kristin Lovik said that membership is "not required to shop at Costco.com, but without it there is a 5% surcharge to the purchase." Costco also offered tickets for the Super Bowl last year and "for the Masters and U.S. Open golf tournaments in 2010." The chain's website also "sells tickets for movies, ski lifts and other entertainment" (L.A. TIMES, 1/31).
LATE NIGHT LAUGHS: Last night’s "Late Show" Top Ten list was “Top Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Spending $16,000 On A Super Bowl Ticket.” Host David Letterman: “The Super Bowl is the perfect thing to watch from the comfort of your own home. You don’t need to go anywhere. You can get drunk, you can hop up and down with your pants off. You don’t need a $16,000 ticket” (“Late Show,” CBS, 1/31).
10) “Do they have anything in the more affordable $15,000 range?”
9) “Have I recently divorced either Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods?”
8) “Can I afford it after spending $12,000 on a Pro Bowl ticket?”
7) “Isn’t this why the rest of the world hates us?”
6) “Would it make more sense to watch at home and spend the $16,000 on snacks?”
5) “Before I spend the money, how’s Gronkowski’s ankle?”
4) “For $4,000 an hour, couldn’t I get a really good hooker?”
3) “If I got $16,000, should I buy the Mets?”
2) “Will I be forever known as the assh*** who spent $16,000 on a Super Bowl ticket?”
1) “Do I get to have sex with Madonna?”