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SBD/January 25, 2013/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Events surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in '14 "will be split between" N.Y. and N.J., according to a front-page piece by John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. The Prudential Center will host media day, while Meadowlands Racetrack will "be host to the official, game-day NFL Tailgate Party." The teams playing in the game "will be practicing and staying in North Jersey." For "Super Bowl Boulevard," Broadway will be "blocked off from 34th Street to 44th Street from noon until 11 p.m. on the four days before the Super Bowl." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Al Kelly "stressed that New Jersey would reap a major part of the economic benefit." But some in N.J. said that Thursday’s announcement was "another example of the reality of living in the shadow" of N.Y. East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella said, "I’ve suspected the whole time, and I still believe, that the NFL and Fox are probably going to play up New York City far more than they will New Jersey." Still, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie "expressed pleasure about New Jersey's piece of the Super Bowl pie." He said, "We're getting a good share of economic activity that goes along with the Super Bowl -- a fair share with New York." Weather permitting, Super Bowl Boulevard will "feature nightly concerts, football clinics and competitions, display of the Vince Lombardi Trophy" and autograph sessions (Bergen RECORD, 1/25). In Newark, Jenny Vrentas notes this is the "first time" that media day will not be held at the game's host venue. The Super Bowl Media Center will be at the Midtown Sheraton, and "several parties and the NFL Honors awards show will also be in Manhattan" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/25). In N.J., Michael Linhorst noted although the "major events tied to the Super Bowl will take place in New Jersey, the event is being billed as the 'New York/New Jersey Super Bowl'" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 1/24).
COUNTY LINES: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes Broward County could "become a bit player as a Super Bowl host" if the Dolphins receive financial support for stadium improvements from Miami-Dade County. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said that the team would "even consider moving their training facility ... if Miami-Dade helps fund renovations to Sun Life Stadium." The Dolphins would ask to "designate downtown Miami as the focal point for activities during the week of the game" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/25).
PARTY CRASHERS: U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt indicated that New Orleans "must scale back its plans for a 'clean zone' where the use of banners, signs and flags would be restricted during Super Bowl week." Engelhardt’s "temporary restraining order says the city can only enforce the limits in an area near the Superdome." The AP's Michael Kunzelman notes the city also had "planned to enforce the rules in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods." The ACLU of Louisiana in a lawsuit claimed that "a new city ordinance and a code enforcement guide trample on their free speech rights and limit their activities leading up" to the game. The ACLU claims that New Orleans "adopted the new policies at the behest" of the NFL (AP, 1/25).
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Cell phone companies said that they have "expanded service coverage in New Orleans in anticipation of massive crowds drawn to the big game and Carnival season." AT&T spokesperson Sue Sperry said that the company has "worked to boost its wireless coverage by installing three new distributed antenna systems near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and another seven at hotels." Verizon has "put a temporary cell site in place near the French Quarter" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/25).
The LPGA Tour on Thursday announced the creation of the International Crown, a first-of-its-kind, biennial, global match play tournament in '14 that will feature teams from eight countries. The tournament will feature a four-day, match-play format with a total purse of $1.6M -- of which $100,000 will go to each member of the winning team. Each of the eight countries will be represented by four players. The tournament takes place July 21-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. In '16, the tournament will be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., host of the '09 Solheim Cup. The eight teams will be based on cumulative rankings of each country’s top four players at the conclusion of the '13 CME Group Titleholders. The four players from each country will be based rankings at a date to be determined. Prior to play on Saturday and Sunday, each team will turn in a sealed envelope with the name of one player who will represent their team if a playoff is necessary to break a tie the following day (LPGA). LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said, "We have a tour designed to identify the best player in the world. The Olympics will award the best female golfer and country. But we have nothing that addresses which country is building the best stable of women's golfers." The AP's Doug Ferguson noted as much as the Int'l Crown "has an Olympic flavor, it might be more closely related to the Solheim Cup." Whan said that the players would be "in uniforms of their country, free of corporate sponsorships." The LPGA "years ago had the Lexus Cup, which was designed for the players who couldn't compete in the Solheim Cup." It never "gained much traction, however, with Asia competing against the rest of the world." Whan "found it to be far more compelling to have players competing for their own country" (AP, 1/24).
OPEN WINDOW: ESPNW.com's Mechelle Voepel wrote the "reality is that women's golf has limited windows to attract the so-called 'average' sports spectator/viewer in the United States." A team event that "involves the concepts of national pride and patriotism? Well, as hokey and contrived as that can sometimes seem, it's definitely a hook." One that "women's golf needs" (ESPNW.com, 1/24). Whan said that several "factors went into bringing the event to Caves Valley -- the support by local fans and club members at the 2002 U.S. Senior Open, the prestige of a golf club that was once ranked in the top 100 in the U.S. by a number of golf publications and website, as well as the proximity to a number of major media markets." He added that he "is not concerned with the problems major golf events had in the Baltimore area in recent years, specifically the lack of consistent corporate and fan support." Caves Valley Chair Steve Fader said that the int'l aspect of the event "should make it an easier sell than other golf events that have not been able to draw corporate sponsorship in the Baltimore area" (Baltimore SUN, 1/25).