Now that the first New York/New Jersey Super Bowl was a smashing success for everyone except the Denver Broncos and their fans, NFL owners in other cold-weather cities are sure to be lining up to try to bring the Big Game to their stadiums.
Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, New England and Denver are among the places that can make a case to host it. The next three Super Bowls are set for Glendale, Ariz. (2015), Santa Clara, Calif. (2016), and Houston (2017), and the 2018 field has been narrowed to a domed home in Indianapolis, Minneapolis or New Orleans.
So, the next chance for an outdoor Super Bowl in a cold climate is 2019. Then again, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be cold. It was, after all, 49 degrees in northern New Jersey when the Super Bowl kicked off Sunday night.
Meanwhile, the temperature reached 54 degrees in Philadelphia on Super Sunday, 62 in Landover, Md., and 51 in Foxborough, Mass.
“Philly would be a great place to host it. It has everything,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said last week. “All the infrastructure, fourth-largest city in the country, state-of-the-art stadium and great fan base.”
Get in line, Jeff.
“We want a Super Bowl here, we deserve a Super Bowl here,” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said last fall. “It’s the nation’s capital, it makes all the sense in the world.”
Patriots owners Robert Kraft feels the same.
“We would love one day to hold it,” Kraft said. “I’m a great supporter of playing this game in all elements.”
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already begun lobbying NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on behalf of the Bears. Chicago was the host city for NATO’s 2012 summit, an event Emanuel has compared to hosting the Super Bowl.
Goodell was noncommittal when asked Friday about the league choosing another cold-weather venue for its championship game.
“We know there’s interest in other communities hosting the Super Bowl,” he said. “I think the ownership — we’ll all sit back and review that when we’re done, but we have a very aggressive process in how to select cities. The ability to host a Super Bowl is more and more complicated, more and more complex, because of the size of the event and the number of events. So, the infrastructure’s incredibly important. We’re well over 30,000 hotel rooms needed even to host the Super Bowl. So, there’s some communities that may not even be able to do it from an infrastructure standpoint, but we know the passion’s there.”
OK, cross Green Bay off the list. But Philadelphia has to be in the mix based on that criteria.
“We believe Philadelphia is a great city with great amenities, great facilities, great sports fans, great transportation system and it would make for a great Super Bowl host city,” Eagles president Don Smolenski said last week.
Eleven-year-old Lincoln Financial Field is the primary home for the Army-Navy game, and was a potential site for the 2022 World Cup. The stadium has undergone recent renovations, including two new video screens in both end zones. That should only increase its chances.
“We built Lincoln Financial Field under the premise that Philadelphia is a world-class city deserving of world-class facilities and events,” Smolenski said.
Of course, the Super Bowl is more than just a one-day event. Plenty of time, money and energy are spent on the weeklong activities leading up to the game. New York transformed Times Square into Super Bowl Boulevard, an outdoor street fair that took over the city’s busiest thoroughfare. There was a 60-foot-high toboggan slide right in the middle of Manhattan, and more than a million people visited the popular tourist spot last week to enjoy all the festivities.
“There’s been a lot of planning for a lot of months and even years in making this Super Bowl successful, and that’s in large part because of the broad metropolitan area that we’re in,” Goodell said. “Super Bowl Boulevard is an incredible opportunity for us to share this with our community here in the New York/New Jersey region. That’s what football’s all about.
“That’s what the Super Bowl’s all about.”
So if you want to bring the Big Game to your city, listen up. Round up your civic, business and community groups, form a bid committee and raise plenty of cash to cover the costs because it’s not cheap. The host New York-New Jersey committee raised $70 million to host the event.
“Our hope,” Smolenski said, “is this affords opportunities for cities like Philadelphia to pursue a bid.”