Monday, May 24, 2010

Empire State of The Game, New York Gets Super Bowl 2014

Owners of the 32 NFL clubs are off to Dallas.  Tomorrow they will vote on the location of the 2014 Super Bowl.  The three finalists are New York Metropolitan Area, South Florida (Miami) and Tampa Bay.  If the owners vote to send the championship game to the Big Apple, this will be the first time that the league’s world champion will be decided in an open outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city.

If New York is given Super Bowl 2014, the NFL will have to take a look at the cold-weather rules.  During the last year, there has been a lot of discussion on head injuries related to football.  One can only imagine the debate if players get frostbite or hypothermia.  The NFL could look like an irresponsible organization that made a decision without considering or ignoring the health risks for its players.  Yes, Lombardi is laughing again because he wouldn’t even let his players wear gloves during the “Ice Bowl,” but this must be a concern.    

I love New York.  It is one of my favorite cities.  I even enjoy going there in the winter, especially December.  It is my favorite month of the year.  All of the festivities and friends around the holidays make it a very fun time of year.   (OK, it’s also my birthday month.)  There is no better place to celebrate the holidays than Manhattan.  The lights, shopping, wintry Central Park, Nutcracker on Broadway make it a tough city to beat at Christmastime.  However, the thought of attending a football game sitting outside in February there is chilling.  And I’m from the Midwest.  I’m not talking about Kansas either.  I mean the northern part of the region on Lake Michigan.  So, I am familiar with the snow.  I also sat through some cold games in Michigan Stadium.  But this would not be November at the end of fall.  It’s also not walking from store to store in SoHo.  We are talking about February in the middle of winter, sitting for three plus hours in what could be a white, cold mess. 

I’m only a fan of snow from December 24 – 26.  There is no way I would sit out in the cold, but some fans will be out there because Super Bowl 2014 will be in Meadowlands Stadium.  Here are my top three reasons for the big game going to New York, New York.

3. New York’s Support – Unlike other host cities, there are two teams lobbying for the bid.  New York Jets Owner, Woody Johnson and New York Giants Co-Owners, John Mara and Steve Tisch only need to get 15 other owners to vote for them.  I don’t think that this will be difficult considering that there are other cold weather cities that would like to set a precedent.   The commissioner does not have a vote, but I think New York has his support.  The NFL would like to see the Giants and Jets sell-out the entire premium seating level in the new stadium and the Super Bowl will help.  (Just ask Detroit.)  I don’t think the special program planned on the NFL Network to announce the winner was because Miami or Tampa will host again.

2. New York’s Attraction - I was in Detroit for Super Bowl XL (2006).  Ford Field is not an outdoor stadium, so the game was not affected, but the location did have an effect on “Super Week.”  Several parties and fundraisers usually hosted during that time in the host city were not in Detroit.  It’s just not fun being on a yacht in 20-degree weather.   And there is no way anyone is going out on the golf course.  But New York is a different city.   It has more people, venues and attractions that bring people to the area without a major event.  Not to mention its home to a lot of stars and they will be out.  Companies like ABC may not do an outdoor event, but they will host a swanky party in their studio overlooking Times Square.  This is the city that gets over a million people out to bring in the New Year.   

1. New York’s Resources - Super Bowl is not just a championship game for the NFL.  It is an opportunity for the league to showcase its products to a national audience and grow its brand.  After the growth that the league saw during former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s reign, Commissioner Roger Goodell is determined not to be complacent and rest at the top.  He wants to grow, so that professional football and “the shield” remain the pinnacle of sports.  The discussion tomorrow is not going to focus on the 82,500 stadium seats at Meadowlands Stadium.  While the ticket will not be cheap, the NFL does not make the big bucks from ticket buyers.  The dollars come from the hundreds of millions of people that watch the Super Bowl on television, advertising and corporate partnerships.  New York’s media, money and international appeal will super-size this already massive event. 

I think that the Super Bowl should be played in a neutral city like Los Angeles.  The city misses professional football and Hollywood knows how to create some drama and have a good time.  Since this isn’t happening anytime soon, I’m looking forward to New York.  I am not going to be outside, but I will have fun watching the game at a cool event in Manhattan.  I’ll skip the presentation of the Lombardi trophy.  Instead, I’ll head over to SoHo for heels and great pizza at Lombardi’s.  Tampa and Miami do not have shopping and pizza like that.  So, who wants to join me in New York?

Heels Helmets

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