SBD/February 3, 2014/Events and Attractions

Seattle Officials Study Events Of Super Bowl Week, Could Bid On Future Game

Some Seattle civic leaders have expressed interest in hosting a future Super Bowl
Seattle Sports Commission Exec Dir Ralph Morton was part of a "larger delegation of Seattle tourism and marketing officials" in N.Y. last week to "study this year's Super Bowl events ahead of a potential Emerald City bid," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Morton "cautioned that no official decision to bid has been made and that the visit by him and others is part fact-finding, part cheering on the Seahawks and not meant to upstage the team’s title bid" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/1). In N.Y., Ken Belson reported Seahawks Owner Paul Allen is "considering whether to add as many as 2,000 seats at CenturyLink Field, which would give Seattle a better chance of hosting the Super Bowl." Some Seattle civic leaders have "expressed interest in hosting the game, but Allen was more equivocal." He said, “We left a provision to put in extra seating for a Super Bowl, but who knows if a Super Bowl is in the cards in the future?” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1).

COLD MARKETS LINING UP: In K.C., Randy Covitz noted Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt is ready for the city "to get in the game and bring a Super Bowl to Arrowhead Stadium." Hunt said, "We could absolutely pull it off. We can put on a great Super Bowl. ... Arrowhead would be an unbelievable venue for it on game day.” He added, "I would think there would be a lot of interest. I have heard some of the teams mentioned that are interested ... so we’ll have to see. We have a great asset in Arrowhead that could play a key part in us getting a Super Bowl" (K.C. STAR, 2/1). Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie said Philadelphia "would be a great place to host" a future Super Bowl. Lurie: "It's got everything -- all the infrastructure, fourth-largest city in the country, great history, state-of-the-art stadium and a great fan base. ... I've never been afraid of a cold-weather Super Bowl." He added, "I don't think it is something you want to do every year, but some of the greatest games in the history of the NFL, including championship games, have been played in very cold weather" ("Super Bowl Live," NFL Network, 1/31). Meanwhile, Timothy Kenneally, president of the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce, which includes Foxboro, said a Super Bowl there would be a "no-brainer if it ends up on the table." Asked whether the game could come to Gillette Stadium, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said, "Let’s see how this goes. I’m a great supporter of playing this game in all elements. I think the most memorable games we’ve played up in Foxboro somehow have had either cold weather or snow associated with them" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/2). Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said, "We have the infrastructure to host this event in the future. We have the hotel rooms, the transportation and the stadiums that would make it work. We've hosted events of this scale in the past and have been successful" (DENVER POST, 2/1).

VIKING QUEST: In St. Paul, Charley Walters wrote the Vikings were "doing everything possible" over the weekend "to land the Super Bowl" in '18. The Minnesota Super Bowl steering committee seeking the event for the Vikings' new stadium "already is considering making Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis its 'Super Bowl Boulevard'" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/2).

IN THE ROTATION ALREADY? In San Jose, Mark Purdy noted Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara will host Super Bowl L, and the "thinking has been" if S.F. and Northern California "pull off the event with enough style and efficiency, there could be comeback visits every five or six years." But the field is "wide open to any region with 30,000 hotel rooms and the will to assemble a Super Bowl bid." There are "murmurs that some corporate sponsors have had difficulty convincing their best clients to attend -- even with complimentary tickets -- because those clients don't want to endure the discomfort." Their idea of a "groovy Super Bowl site is someplace warm or indoors." Purdy: "Ultimately, if enough of those corporate sponsors squawk, that would be enough to make the league pause and reconsider future football coldness" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/2). 

DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME: In Baton Rouge, Scott Rabalais penned an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and wrote, "We know the Super Bowl was just here in New Orleans last year, and we know you said the Super Bowl will return to The Big Easy, but we wanted to A) give you a little reminder and B) hold you to your word." Rabalais: "That’s because if you pull off a Super Bowl in New Jersey ... we know the competition for future Super Bowls will never be fiercer." New Orleans has hosted the game 10 times, and "10 times the city has proven it's the best place to have the game" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 2/2).

NOT LIKELY ANYTIME SOON: In San Diego, Kevin Acee wrote the city "has the weather, the requisite number of hotel rooms and an infrastructure that requires minimal travel between all necessary venues." But the "problem, as the NFL sees it, is antiquated, dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium." The "reality" is that Super Bowl XLVIII is the first in a "non-domed stadium in a cold-weather city not because New York is the center of the universe but because MetLife Stadium opened four years ago" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/2).
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