The idea of New York hosting the 2014 Super Bowl is becoming more of a reality everyday. As Don Banks of SI.com wrote today the idea seemed crazy at first, but now it may be hard to imagine of it not happening.
Besides the weather, all the positives are there. It will be in the biggest market in a brand new stadium. New York is already a great football city with the Giants and Jets. And don’t forget about the money factor, which is the most important one. The suites at the new Meadowlands will be the most sought after tickets in Super Bowl history and there are plenty of high rollers and big pushers to pay for them. New York also has celebrity appeal, so while some might shy away because of the weather, it won’t be much as it will still be the place to be seen at.
And really the weather might be part of the appeal. Some of the most memorable games in NFL history, outside of the Super Bowl, have played in imperfect conditions. Football is a game to be played in all elements, so what is one more game in cold weather? Fans love watching the unique, something that is out of the norm. Look how the Winter Classic has made the NHL a must see on New Year’s Day leading into the Rose Bowl.
There are plenty of positives along with the negatives. I won’t hash them all out now, but it did get me thinking of if New York hosts a Super Bowl, it will open the door for all cold weather cities. While New York has the new stadium, all the glitz and glamor, and the big cash haul, others will want it.
Dan Synder will be the first in line to bring the game to the capital. Chicago wanted the Olympics, so you have to imagine they will want to bid on the big game. Philadelphia? Pittsburgh? What if a new stadium gets built in Minnesota?
Or the league’s most historic venue, Lambeau Field?
Now that would be something. Playing for the Lombardi Trophy on the same ground Saint Vincent once roamed. Snow falling, temps in the single digits with the game going down to the final minutes. It could be a dream scenario for the NFL, right?
I hate to be negative, but this actually might be a nightmare scenario. Green Bay thrives on the schtick of being a small town who owns the team. This is not a good match for the biggest sporting event of the year. First, just look at the financial implications. Hotels will have to be built because there simply wouldn’t be enough in the Fox Valley area. Attractions will have to brought in. Entertainment facilities and venues be built. Restaurants and bars remodeled. Picture some of the smaller cities who have hosted the Winter Olympics and where they are 20 years later. It is just simply to much to bear and once the game leaves the area doesn’t have population or bankroll to support all the new bells and whistles.
Also, as much history and tradition the Packers and Lambeau Field has, it won’t be enough for the NFL to get over the fact the game is in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They tried the small market Super Bowl in Jacksonsville and failed miserably. There is something appealing or charming about going to New York in the middle of winter. Not eastern Wisconsin. Don’t get me wrong, I love Green Bay. I am proud of growing up in God’s country and love visiting in the winter time. But I don’t represent the target market the NFL tries to reach for the Super Bowl.
I am still unsure how I feel about a cold weather Super Bowl. I always wanted them to play the game in the snow as a kid because I always thought that since football players considered themselves ‘tough’ they should be able to play in ‘real’ weather. But now as an adult with a marketing and business background, I understand that the most important thing about the Super Bowl isn’t the game, but everything else around it that is reliant on nice weather.
That internal debate is mute because I firmly believe that New York will host the Super Bowl and it will be successful. If the NFL could stretch the draft into a three-day event in prime time, they can do a cold weather championship game. I will go as far as four years later in 2018 Washington D.C. or Chicago will have a strong case to host the game and they will be successful too.
Just don’t expect Green Bay to get into the mix.