On Sunday we may witness the last time that a Super Bowl will be played in an open air stadium in cold weather. Mainly because the NFL made an exception to their Super Bowl hosting rules to allow the game to be held in New York.
For a city to be considered for hosting a Super Bowl, the site must be at least 50 degrees on game day. A temperature that New York usually doesn’t reach in late January, early February. But the NFL went ahead and considered New York as a host as a way to potentially help recovery from 9/11.
Joe DeLessio of Daily Intelligencer spoke with the owners of the Giants and Jets and found that former NFL commissioner first proposed the idea shortly after 9/11. Once the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium was built, NFL owners began to warm up to the idea of a Super Bowl in New York.
“The owners of the NFL teams like to bring the Super Bowl to new facilities,” says Giants co-owner owner Jonathan Tisch, a co-chair of the Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee, and in 2009, the league’s owners voted to waive the 50-degree rule, thereby allowing the Jets and Giants to make their pitch for a Meadowlands Super Bowl. Tisch says it wasn’t necessary for the Jets and Giants to lobby the other owners to make the change.
The only hurdle left was new commissioner Roger Goodell. And once it was clear that Goodell was open to allowing New York to host the game, it was inevitable that it was going to happen.
[Jets owner Woody] Johnson, also a co-chair of the host committee, says a New York/New Jersey Super Bowl wasn’t a particularly hard sell. “I think the other owners made the decision, regardless of whatever pitch we gave them. They recognized that it was good for the NFL, and good for the Super Bowl.” There were two other bids for Super Bowl XLVIII — Tampa and South Florida — and New York/New Jersey won on the third ballot, back in May of 2010. “Owners from northern cities voted in support of the game being at MetLife Stadium,” says Tisch, “and my sense is that if it’s successful, as it will be, other northern cities might put in proposals for the game to be in their facilities.”
Cities like Minneapolis are certainly hoping that Sunday will help their bid to be considered once again as a host site.