SBD/January 27, 2014/Events and Attractions

Why Not Us? NFL Teams In Cold Climates Watching Super Bowl With Eye On Future Bids

Cold-weather teams are interested in how MetLife Stadium fares with the Super Bowl
A "significant number of onlookers are rooting" for MetLife Stadium and the N.Y./N.J. area this week, as "any hopes for other cities with frosty winter weather and outdoor football stadiums -- such as Washington -- to host future Super Bowls might rest on how things go in New York during the upcoming week," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said, "Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore are all asking, 'Is this something we can do?'" Giants President & CEO John Mara: "I do think if we do a good job and all goes well, it will open the door to other cities, yes." Steelers President Art Rooney II said, "When the vote was taken, I regarded it as a New York-only vote. ... I think it will remain a rare occasion when the game is played in a northern city, particularly without a dome. But I do think people will be watching, and it could affect future decisions" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/25). In N.Y., Ken Belson wrote the "impression of whether this year's Super Bowl is a triumph will have as much to do with how freely fans spend in New York and New Jersey as it will with the weather at kickoff." Consumer spending in N.Y. and N.J. "could help determine whether NFL owners decide to host the Super Bowl outdoors in another cold-weather climate." Meanwhile, the NFL is "mindful that television ratings would fall dramatically if the game were played on Monday instead of Sunday" and would move the game "only if an extreme storm hit the region." Seton Hall sports business professor Rick Gentile said, "If the field is playable, they will play because there are 100 million viewers at home. There’s no way they’re going to want to move this game" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25).

WHO'S GOT NEXT? Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie said, "Many people, like myself, will be watching very closely to see how everything unfolds. The possibility of hosting a Super Bowl right here in Philadelphia is something that we definitely look forward to and would welcome with open arms. We have a great city filled with passionate football fans and a magnificent stadium to host it" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/26). In Tacoma, Craig Hill noted the Seattle Sports Commission will "send a delegation to New York" this week to "observe the hosting process." SSC Exec Dir Ralph Morton said that Seattle is "not formally preparing a Super Bowl bid." But he added, "We are trying to position ourselves so we can put it in when the time is right" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 1/25). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio noted unless a blizzard "forces the game to be moved by a day or two -- or possibly a week -- all cities that have the infrastructure to host the game but not a roof on the local stadium will be in play for future Super Bowls" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/26). SI.com's Chris Burke lists eight cities that he thinks "should get to host a Super Bowl," including Las Vegas and Austin (SI.com, 1/24).

ONE YEAR OUT: In Phoenix, Caitlin McGlade notes Arizona taxpayers "may be asked to help pay" for Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Sports execs and city leaders "are lobbying for state assistance to help cover expenses associated with hosting certain major events, whether a Super Bowl or national political conventions." So far, Glendale and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee "are working separately, which means state lawmakers can expect at least two proposals." Both groups said that a "mechanism for state funding is needed to sustain the ability to host big events that bring visitor spending" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/26).
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