SBD/February 3, 2014/Events and Attractions

Mara Eyes Another N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl, As Goodell, Other Owners Sound Positive Note

Mara thinks most NFL owners would agree staging the game in N.Y. was a good idea
Giants President & CEO John Mara, who was "instrumental in bringing Super Bowl XLVIII to MetLife Stadium," said that he "would like the New York/New Jersey region to host the big game again," according to Ian O'Connor of ESPN N.Y. Mara before kickoff yesterday said, "If we can be assured that we'd get the same cooperation from all the different government entities that were involved, which has been tremendous so far, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't consider doing it again. I think that when the NFL owners that are here, when they leave MetLife Stadium tonight after this game, I'm pretty confident that most of them will say to themselves that it was a great idea to have this event in this area, New York and New Jersey, and why not come back here again. It's good for the league." He added, "Let's face it, there is only one area like this one with the number of attractions and venues and all that New York and New Jersey have to offer. But I certainly think it does open the door a little bit for other venues. ... We could not be any happier with the way things have worked out so far" (ESPNNY.com, 2/2). Mara said, "I've had so much positive feedback. ... I think we should do it again. There are a lot of worthy cities, but let’s face it, there’s only one area like this in the world. I’ve had a couple of owners say to me, 'Why did we wait this long?'" (Bergen RECORD, 2/3). Mara: "I think the other owners see all the positives that have come out of this week. I think that’s a huge advantage in our favor" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/3).

COLOR ME IMPRESSED: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said after the game, "Let me first give a great shout-out to New York and New Jersey for a spectacular week here at the Super Bowl, so thank you" (N.Y. POST, 2/3).  Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt said, "When it comes time to vote, owners will remember how well things went this week." Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan said of having a cold-weather Super Bowl, "I think it is really part of football. It’s going to be part of the future of this game" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/3). Steelers Chair Dan Rooney, of more Super Bowls in cold-weather cities, "I think you'll see it. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/3). In DC, Mark Maske writes the mild weather conditions at the game were "good news" for cities "with cold winter weather interested in hosting outdoor Super Bowls in the future." The event was "viewed by some as a test case for such cities." If so, the test’s "outcome was promising." Things "went seamlessly, for the most part, all week" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/3).  But ESPN N.Y.'s Dan Graziano wrote Goodell and NFL owners "insisted this would be a one-time exception to the NFL's longstanding rule" against cold-weather Super Bowls, and "no one's calling these guys" on it. Graziano: "They shouldn't press their luck" (ESPNNY.com, 2/2).

HOW N.Y./N.J. PULLED IT OFF: New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority President & CEO Wayne Hasenbalg: "At the end of the day, when everyone assesses how we delivered, I think we lived up to all the representations we made" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/3).  In Seattle, Geoff Baker writes the week before the Super Bowl "went off largely without a hitch" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/3). USA TODAY's Brent Schrotenboer reports despite temperatures around 30 degrees on Friday, crowds "packed the outdoor 'Super Bowl Boulevard' in Times Square" (USA TODAY, 2/3). In Denver, Adrian Dater wrote "the hospitality" around the game was one of the best things about the week (DENVERPOST.com, 2/2). In Newark, Bill Evans writes the game "proved to be a success" for the N.Y./N.J. area and the NFL. The two host states "put on a good show" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/3). Goodell on Friday said of Super Bowl Boulevard, "I think people are feeling the excitement and the energy, and that’s a great thing for us" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/1).

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: On Long Island, Neil Best writes there was something about the Super Bowl that "seemed to galvanize the area into genuinely caring how it all came off." Most people involved "seemed to come away generally satisfied, and they had every right to be." Best: "Not that all was perfect. Far from it, especially the human gridlock that snarled pedestrian traffic on Super Bowl Boulevard in Manhattan, then hit New Jersey as fans braved hot, crowded platforms for game-day trains." Those were "but two glaring examples of a consistent theme: limited space." Super Bowl Boulevard was "a noble experiment but simply was too crowded for most purposes other than gawking at the Broadway scenery." Still, the NFL "gambled and won, and opened the door for other places with real winters to demand their turn" (NEWSDAY, 2/3). In N.Y., Justin Tasch asked, "Has our region really been swept up in Super Bowl Fever, or are people simply taking in all the sights because it's the next big act in town?" There "isn't a distinct Super Bowl buzz when you walk down the Boulevard." It is "simply normal goings-on for Manhattan." The week leading up to the game "has been a dud." Apart from the "underwhelming" toboggan run, there is "nothing of much interest to do" on Super Bowl Boulevard (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/2). ESPN.com's Ashley Fox wrote aside from "one stretch through Times Square, there has been little buzz about the Super Bowl" in N.Y. Fox: "Escape to lower Manhattan, from the meatpacking district to SoHo to the East Village, and there is no feel for the Super Bowl" (ESPN.com, 1/31). But a N.Y. DAILY NEWS editorial called the Super Bowl "an affirmation of New York City’s renaissance." In '90, Time magazine "put the city on its cover, lamenting 'The Rotting of the Big Apple.'" But last week was "a testament to what this city -- always gritty, but not always healthy -- has become" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/2).

ON THE OTHER HAND: In Ft. Worth, Gil Lebreton wrote hosting a Super Bowl in the region generally "has worked," but the media has "rightly complained about the midweek interview logistics." It "wasn’t so much the long ride through the tunnels, but rather the cramped interview quarters" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/2). SPORTS ON EARTH's Will Leitch offered a "pretty safe prediction: This will be the last Super Bowl they ever have in New York/New Jersey." Super Bowl Week "has not been poorly run," and everything is "going fine." But no one in N.Y. "seems to notice the Super Bowl is even happening." In N.Y., the Super Bowl is "just another thing going on." In most host cities the NFL's "monstrous mini-playland" becomes "the centerpiece of all local activity." Leitch: "Here? It's just another reason to stay the hell out of Times Square" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 1/31).
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