Yesterday at the Commissioner's annual press conference, Roger Goodell was asked about the prospects of Chicago as a Super Bowl host city, given how New Jersey is set to host the game in 2014.
"Chicago is a great community... I hear it from my wife every day, by the way, but as far as football fans are concerned, there is no greater passion in Chicago. There are a number of issues that go into playing a Super Bowl. It's not just the stadium. It's clearly the number of hotel rooms, the other infrastructure, all of which I presume that Chicago would meet.... If they're interested, we certainly will meet with them and discuss the ability to do that."
We know the open roof of the stadium (also known as the weather effect) isn't necessarily a precursor to not hosting the game (case, see Bears-Colts in Miami with Prince in the rain). But the stadium itself could be a problem - Soldier Field has the lowest seating capacity in the NFL including the Rogers Centre in Toronto and Wembley Stadium in London. In addition to that, other "cold-weather" cities that have hosted the Super Bowl in recent years have all (or will be, in the case of the New Meadowlands) been played in new, state-of-the art stadiums. Chicago's was just renovated in the last ten years, so the odds of the Bears getting a new stadium or new seating expansion sufficient to host a game on this stage is fairly slim.
I wouldn't think any of the other infrastructure would be a problem, so if the stadium is the lone holdup, I don't see why the Bears and the Park District wouldn't improve the seating capacity of the stadium and otherwise improve it.
What do you think? Would you like to see Chicago host the Super Bowl?