There is no offseason in the NFL anymore. If there is nothing to talk about, the league will find a way to make any announcment a huge event. Case in point, the announcement of where the 2014 Super Bowl will be held. After never playing a Super Bowl in a cold weather city that didn’t have a dome, the NFL has decided that Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in New York/New Jersey.
With this news, it begs to ask the question; "Will other cold weather cities now have a chance to host the Super Bowl?" or an even better question; "Will Soldier Field now have a chance to host the Super Bowl?"
NY/NJ had many factors working in their favor when they put their names in the hat to host the Super Bowl.
First, it was a two team proposal. Two good and popular teams for that matter. The Giants are only a couple of years removed from being Super Bowl champions and the Jets are everyone’s ‘sexy’ pick to advance deep into the playoffs this year. With two young quarterbacks that have already been anointed ‘The Next Best Thing’ and coaches that aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, the Giants and Jets will always be in the headlines for one reason or another, good or bad.
The opening of a state of the art facility didn’t hurt either.
Second, it’s New York City. The glitz and glam of the Big Apple will have promoters salivating over the possible marketing schemes. Everything is bigger in New York City. From the sky touching buildings to the Naked Cowboy dancing around the lights of Times Square, NYC is a sight to behold. Being that it has the largest population of any city in this country and has the greatest population of tourists per year over any other U.S city, the NFL will have a very successful time trying to branch out to any and everyone who is the least bit interested in American football.
The tragic events of 9/11 also played a factor in NY/NJ hosting the ‘Big Game’. For almost 10 years the NFL has searched for a grand way to show its love for The City That Never Sleeps. I don’t think it can get much grander than this.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff have actually found a way to make the biggest sporting event in the world even more massive.
If the NFL did want to try out a cold weather Super Bowl, it would have to go to New York. If things go good, great, everyone is happy and the current group of NFL executives are trail blazers. If it goes bad, the NFL can save face and say they tried something new in the great city of New York. It’s a win, win.
The city of Chicago is no slouch in itself. From the gorgeous lake side to the beautiful architecture, Chicago has many reasons to boast. Heck, they were finalists for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago also offers a huge sports market, high tourist numbers and is home to the Leader of the Free World.
Not to mention, many facilities and convention centers that are near to Soldier Field that can host all of the Super Bowl festivities.
One major thing that Chicago’s Soldier Field does not have, more seats. For a city to host a Super Bowl, its stadium capacity must be at least 70,000. Soldier Field currently stands at 61,500. Now, if the league is serious about this cold weather stuff, I’m sure we can find a way to add 10,000 more seats to the space ship that is the upper deck of ‘The Great Place by the Lake.’
It may take a little more than an over the top attendance record or viewing audience to bring Goodell and his boys to make this experiment a regular thing. Money does run most of everything, but the product on the field has to be good for the game.
I would love for Chicago to be the home of the Super Bowl one day. More importantly however, I would love for Chicago to be the home of the Super Bowl Champions, regardless of where the game may be played.