The NFL yesterday selected Phoenix to host the Super Bowl in '15, making it “the game's third visit to Arizona,” according to a front-page piece by Rebekah Sanders of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Since the city last hosted the Super Bowl in ’08, the Metro light rail opened, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel opened and “an expansion tripled the size of the Phoenix Convention Center.” Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said that the growth “helped sway the 32 NFL team owners gathered in Houston to choose Arizona over Tampa to host Super Bowl XLIX.” Game organizers said that “many of the festivities leading up to the game will be centered on downtown Phoenix.” The plan “alleviated concerns NFL owners had during Super Bowl XLII in 2008 that in the week leading up to the game, events were spread too far around the Valley.” Some events expected to move downtown include “the concert and festival area called Super Bowl Village.” Bidwill said the competition between Tampa and Phoenix was "fierce," with the final decision taking “two rounds of voting” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/12).
LOOKING FORWARD: In St. Petersburg, Richard Danielson notes one of the points Tampa Bay’s bid committee made was “touting the area's proximity to water and its warm weather, including its warm winter evenings.” Tampa's organizers also “included a video featuring, among other things, Sarasota resident and college basketball commentator Dick Vitale, and bought billboards in Houston saying Tampa Bay wanted the Super Bowl back.” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said that “theoretically, that might be in 2016 -- the year of the 50th Super Bowl -- but chances could be better for 2017.” It’s believed that the NFL “may go with one of its original ‘legacy’ host cities -- Los Angeles, Miami or New Orleans -- for the 50th edition of the game.” Buckhorn: "Based on what I've been told, it was largely a question of the rotation." He added that he “was confident that Tampa stands to host the game again” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/12). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of the 50th Super Bowl, "I don't think there is anything off the table on who would host it." He added that the league is “keeping close tabs on two potential stadium projects” in L.A. Goodell: "We think there are two opportunities in Los Angeles and we are going to pursue both of them aggressively" (AP, 10/11).
SAVE THE DATE: In New Jersey, John Brennan reports the "first outdoor Super Bowl at a cold-weather site -- MetLife Stadium in '14 -- now has an exact date” with NFL officials announcing yesterday that the game will be played Feb. 2. The New Jersey State Climatologist office reported data from Newark -- about 10 miles from the venue -- reveals that “from 1935 through 2010, the most snowfall recorded on any Feb. 2 was just 3.4 inches in 1985.” North Jersey Weather Observers spokesperson Bob Ziff said that the average snowfall “for Feb. 2s in Hawthorne -- also about 10 miles away from the game site -- for the past 119 years is just 0.4 inches.” The average high temperature “has been 38 degrees, with a Feb. 2, 1973 high of 58 degrees in the borough” (Bergen RECORD, 10/12).