History was made as the NFL broke from conventional practice and approved the New Meadowlands as the host site of Super Bowl XLVII in 2014. As a Jets season ticket holder and a rabid football fan, I couldn’t be any happier to see the biggest sporting event of the year come into my backyard with the potential of inclement weather conditions that would make for one of the more memorable Super Bowls of all-time. The NY/NJ region won out over the traditional Super Bowl cities of South Florida and Tampa, which have been home to a combined 14 championship games. The Jets and Giants reps rallied support for a Super Bowl at the New Meadowlands around a simple slogan: “Make Some History.” The first step toward arranging a monumental day for both the sport of football and cold weather football cities throughout the league was taken today and The Campus Socialite applauds the decision.
The road to securing the Super Bowl in NY/NJ was not an easy one as first the Jets and Giants had to pool their resources to construct a new $1.6 billion stadium and then convince league officials to waive the rule that requires the game to be played either in a warm climate or a domed stadium. Even after the New Meadowlands was built, many opponents scoffed at the idea of a cold weather Super Bowl with arguments such as “The elements should not factor into a title game” and “What fans would pay high Super Bowl ticket prices to sit in freezing temperatures or possibly even snow?” Jets owners Woody Johnson and Giants owners Jonathan Tisch and John Mara kept their eyes on the prize and made sure that the New Meadowlands was on the ballot for the Super Bowl site vote at today’s league spring meeting.
Rounding up the necessary votes to win the big game was no small feat for the NY/NJ team. It took four rounds of secret balloting to determine the host. New York/New Jersey won by a simple majority over Tampa. South Florida was eliminated after the second ballot. Although the support wasn’t unanimous, it was made clear that the NFL owners are ready to take their crown jewel to the biggest stage in the world – the spotlight of New York (and New Jersey).
The New Meadowlands will be the first open-air stadium in a cold-weather region to host a Super Bowl. In their presentation to the membership, the Jets and Giants reps showed a video that included clips from historic cold-weather games, including Adam Vinatieri’s forever field goal for the Patriots in the 2001 divisional playoffs in Foxborough, Mass. — a.k.a. “The Snow Bowl” and “The Tuck Rule Game.” The reps also reminded the panel that a cold-weather championship game is not totally unprecedented as arguably the greatest NFL game of all time, “The Ice Bowl,” was played at subzero temperatures in Green Bay’s Lambeau Field to decide the 1967 NFL Championship.
According to the Jets and Giants reps, the average temperature range for the Meadowlands area during February is 24 to 40 degrees, with several inches of rain,. Remember, the game kicks off after sunset in the Eastern time zone, so temperatures would be dropping throughout the night. Planners have factored it all in. They’re plotting giveaways to warm hands and seats, having hundreds of folks ready to shovel away snow and anything else they can do to make the experience more than just bearable.
Organizers expect the 2014 Super Bowl to generate approximately $550 million for the local NY/NJ economy. While there will be no direct financial benefit to the two local teams, the Super Bowl will help the Giants and Jets sell the naming rights to the stadium. That could be worth an estimated $500 million.
As for the possibility of another Ice Bowl, Jets owner Woody Johnson cracked, “I like doing things for the first time … I hope it snows.” Rain or shine, how can you not be psyched for a Broadway Bowl in 2014? Let’s get ready for some football New York (and New Jersey).