SBD/February 4, 2014/Events and Attractions

NFL Could Consider Future N.Y. Area Super Bowl, While Other Cold Markets Want A Shot

Snow covered the field at MetLife Stadium yesterday and caused travel delays
As snow blanketed the N.Y. area yesterday morning, the "question became whether Super Bowl XLVIII -- with its interstate planning, its transit issues, its security measures and its climate -- had been successful enough that the NFL would consider trying it again," according to Jared Diamond of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We had a couple things that obviously we will review and try to improve on. But, overall, I think the event was tremendously successful." As the snow accumulated yesterday, "about 40% of scheduled flights" into and out of LaGuardia and Newark airports "were canceled." At JFK Airport, "about 20% of flights were grounded." The timing of the storm "underscored the risks associated with awarding the Super Bowl to a cold-weather city." Had the snow "arrived on Sunday, for instance, the public-transportation snarls that had some ticketholders overheating at the Secaucus rail station on Sunday would presumably have been much worse" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/4). In Miami, Adam Beasley notes because of yesterday's snowfall, "league power brokers, deep-pocketed sponsors and run-of-the-mill football fans all struggled to make it home." In all, "roughly 600 flights" originating in the greater N.Y. area yesterday had been canceled as of 6:00pm ET. But in the big picture, the NFL "was incredibly fortunate." Had the storm "hit just 12 hours earlier, untold thousands of game attendees would have struggled to get to MetLife Stadium -- if the game was held Sunday at all" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/4). CBS's Jason La Canfora said, “The snafus of people getting out of town ... maybe cast a little bit more of a negative light on it, but they have enough that they can sell the sponsors. There will be a clamoring, I believe, in the business community to do this again" ("Rome," CBS Sports Network, 2/3).

TRULY A GAME OF INCHES
: N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl Host Committee President Al Kelly said of just missing the snowstorm on Sunday, "It's a nice non-problem." He added, "If this storm was (Sunday), the views of people and their memories would have been different." On Long Island, Neil Best writes Super Bowl week "will be recalled for what mostly was a well-received operation." Kelly also "praised the scene on Super Bowl Boulevard." He said, "It was just phenomenal amounts of people all seemingly orderly and engaged and having fun, but really a sea of people" (NEWSDAY, 2/4). But L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said the NFL "got so lucky with the weather." The league should "count their blessings, get out of town and never come back." ESPN's Bomani Jones said, "You can't keep having these Super Bowls that require you to look in the Farmer's Almanac to try to figure out if you’re going to be buried I snow. The margin of error on this was 10 hours and they got this lucky" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/3).

ONE & DONE? In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes Super Bowl Boulevard was "a wonderful destination spot, and just about everyone who visited had a fun day." Vaccaro: "The question should really be this: Do we want it back? Because clearly we don’t need it back." All the "good vibes generated by the novelty of having the Big Game in the big town were probably frittered away by two simple snafus: the horrible chaos at the Secaucus Junction Sunday, and the snow that blanketed the city Monday and wound up canceling scores of flights home for thousands of visitors" (N.Y. POST, 2/4). SPORTING NEWS' Vinnie Iyer wrote for the NFL's largest market, "once is enough." The N.Y. area "simply can't make up for the fact" that it is "just too big." N.Y. is the "kind of place that renders a beast such as the Super Bowl insignificant" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 2/3). Sports On Earth's Will Leitch said, "Most of my friends in New York did not even notice the Super Bowl was going on. When it is in Indianapolis or it’s in Arizona, it takes over the town and here, it was like, ‘Oh, that’s right, another reason not to go to Times Square’” ("Crowd Goes Wild," FS1, 2/3). 

WE WANT NEXT: The AP's Rob Maaddi wrote NFL owners in other cold-weather cities are "sure to be lining up to try to bring the Big Game to their stadiums," but '19 will be the next chance for an outdoor Super Bowl in a cold climate. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel "has already begun lobbying" Goodell on behalf of the Bears (AP, 2/3). In Boston, Ben Volin writes the city will "host a Super Bowl sooner rather than later." N.Y./N.J. did "a lot of favors for Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and Denver." Volin: "Don't be surprised if Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Baltimore and Nashville want in as well" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/4). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the NFL "of course" will hold another cold-weather Super Bowl because this game was a "enormous success." It was the "most-viewed Super Bowl of all-time," and NFL team owners "got to spend a bunch of days in New York City which is the economic engine of the country." He said the NFL will go "to powerful cities" like Boston and DC for another cold-weather Super Bowl "once every four or five years" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/3). But in Chicago, Rick Telander notes Soldier Field with a capacity of 61,500 is "the second-smallest outdoor NFL stadium." There is "no way Soldier Field as presently constructed will get a Super Bowl" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/4).

INDY GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER TRY: Indiana Sports Corp. Senior VP/Strategy & Operations Susan Baughman said that Indianapolis "could expand the footprint and activities in its own Super Bowl Village if given the chance on center stage again." She said, "We spent a lot of time on Super Bowl Boulevard. [N.Y.] had a lot of the activities that you saw in our NFL experience indoors, but they took those outdoors." Baughman added that Indianapolis' bid committee has "secured pledges from corporate partners for more than half" of the $30M its leaders hope to raise (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/4).
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