N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl A Hot Topic In New Orleans; S.F. Bidders Look To Unite Bay Area
N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Al Kelly has had a "strange week," with a series of media interviews "designed to answer the questions of a nation both skeptical and curious," according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. Kelly said of next year's Super Bowl, to be held at MetLife Stadium, "There is just a tremendous amount of fascination about a Super Bowl in our region. I think more people are clearly very bullish about it. But I think there are people in wait-and-see mode." MetLife Exec VP/Global Brand, Marketing & Communications Beth Hirschhorn said that Ravens QB Joe Flacco's recent negative comments about a Super Bowl in N.J. were "hurtful, but not for long." Hirschhorn: "Now that everybody is talking about it, it's a benefit. ... I've never heard so much conversation a year in advance of a Super Bowl before" (NEWSDAY, 2/1). Hirschhorn said, "We hope this is the first of many Super Bowls in New York and that it will be such a successful event for the community, the fans, the players and the teams that they will not cross off cold-weather locations after this" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 1/31). Kelly on Thursday said that he "wants the visitors to have such an enjoyable experience that the first cold-weather Super Bowl won’t be the last one." In Newark, Steve Politi notes Kelly is in New Orleans this week "with 16 of the 29 full-time employees of the host committee." Kelly said of other potential issues surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII, "We have a bigger geographic footprint. We want to use mass transit in as big a way as we can because if people can get on mass transit, they don’t have to worry about directions, about traffic, about parking, about drinking and driving" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/1).
BAY CITY ROLLERS: In San Jose, Mark Purdy notes S.F.-based philanthropist Daniel Lurie, who is leading the 49ers' bid to host a Super Bowl, will keep "soaking up the sights" in New Orleans this week, paying "particular attention to the charitable activities surrounding the game that are close to his heart." Lurie said, "I didn't take this just to throw one big party. We want ours to be the most philanthropic Super Bowl ever and benefit the community as much as possible." Purdy notes Lurie hopes to host the game "in three or four years, after the new 49ers' stadium is finished in Santa Clara." Lurie said, "From what I've seen ... I haven't been overwhelmed yet. Our region was built to host events like this." He added, "If there's one thing I want to be clear about, it's that this is a Bay Area effort. It's a San Francisco bid. But our slogan is, 'Bring The Bowl To The Bay.'" Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said that he is "squarely on board with Lurie's effort." Matthews also intends to "organize a summit of South Bay and Peninsula mayors, along with top business people, to discuss the Super Bowl bid plan with Lurie." Meanwhile, some "voices in Santa Clara and Silicon Valley have expressed legitimate questions about whether they might be left out of the most lucrative Super Bowl fun." Lurie said, "We really believe people who come to the Super Bowl will want to spend a full week in the Bay Area. That could include everywhere from Napa Valley to Carmel and in between" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/1).
DEEP IN THE HEART...: Texans Owner Bob McNair on Thursday said that he "believes having James A. Baker III as chairman of Houston’s Super Bowl Host Committee will enhance the city’s bid" for Super Bowl LI in '17. McNair said that the deal with Baker "hasn’t been finalized, but they hope to get it done in time for a news conference in Houston next week." In Houston, John McClain noted Baker "served as secretary of state and secretary of the treasury under two presidents" (CHRON.com, 1/31). McNair appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning and said Baker “really represents Houston better than anyone and he's respected around the world, and all owners know who he is. I just couldn't think of anyone that could represent our city better than Jim Baker.” McNair noted that S.F. is bidding for the ’16 Super Bowl and if they win Sunday’s game it could help their bid. McNair added, "The fact that they're building a new stadium, I think that's the strongest thing going for them, and we typically reward cities that have just gotten a new stadium. So I'd say that would probably make them the favorite” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/31).