By Barry Janoff
January 25, 2013: The talk may be about the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens meeting in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013,, but the attention — for a day, at least — was on Super Bowl XLVIII, to be played Feb. 2, 2014.
Before heading to New Orleans, site of next week's big game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NFL commission Roger Goodell stood next to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other local football and political dignitaries in Manhattan to talk about the first Super Bowl to be played in the New York area, and the first to be played in a cold-weather in an open-air venue, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
The temperature in New York was in the teens, with the wind chill making it feel like single-digits.
“We made this decision consciously,” Goodell said during an indoor media conference on Thursday (Jan. 24). “Football is made to be played in the elements. It’s obviously cold here this week, but next week were told it’s going to be in the 50s. We’re going to celebrate the game here, we’re going to celebrate the weather, and we’re going to make it a great experience.”
MetLife Stadium was selected to host Super Bowl XLVIII in May 2010, getting the nod over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and Sun Life Stadium in South Florida. The venue opened in 2010 and is the only NFL stadium to be home to two teams. Seating is in excess of 82,500.
MetLife Insurance acquired naming rights in 2011 via a 25-year deal valued at upward of $20 million annually.
“New York City is already the nation’s Super Bowl champion of tourism destination and next year around this time hundreds of thousands of fans from across the country and around the globe will converge on our region to see the NFL’s best,” said Bloomberg. “All these activities are going to show our city’s best face to people from around the world and will make being in New York for the Super Bowl truly memorable.”
And that includes the weather.
“We’re going to embrace the weather, embrace New York and New Jersey,” Goodell said. “We are also prepared for all alternatives, and that includes the weather, and the potential for snow and ice.”
The event was also attended by the owners of the New York Giants and New York Jets, respectively, the two teams that call MetLife Stadium home; as well as Al Kelly, president and CEO of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee.
The NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee used the press conference to detail events that would take place next year at this time in New York and New Jersey.
Beginning Jan. 29, Broadway from 34th St. to 44th St. in Manhattan will be transformed into "Super Bowl Boulevard." "It’s going to be full of free football fun with live events, outdoor music and fan-friendly interactive competition and games," according to Bloomberg.
Media Day, the first official public event of Super Bowl week, will be held Jan. 28 in the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
“We’re going to embrace the weather, embrace New York and New Jersey. We are also prepared for all alternatives, and that includes the weather."
The NFC team will work out at the Giants' practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., while the AFC team will practice at the Jets' facility in Florham Park, NJ. Both teams will stay at hotels in New Jersey.
The Super Bowl Media Center will be at the Midtown Sheraton. Several parties and the NFL Honors awards show will also be in Manhattan.
The game will air on Fox.
In addition to naming rights holder MetLife, MetLife Stadium cornerstone partners include Bud Light, Pepsi, SAP and Verizon.
Marketing partners for the New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee include Bank of America, Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light), Chase, Citi, Hertz, Hess, Pepsi, Tiffany and Verizon.
"For the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl, we’ve embraced the opportunity to create plans that are as big, bold and unique as New York City and the surrounding region itself,” said Goodell. “While we can only fit 80,000 fans into MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, we look forward to hosting hundreds of thousands of people at different attractions and events during Super Bowl Week, throughout all parts of the area.”
Added Mayor Bloomberg, "This is not something we're going to do for the first time. That stadium fills up every Sunday for three to four months. This is not any different. The mass transit system can handle it. New York is capable of handling big events."
Super Bowl XLIX will be held in the University of Phoenix Stadium in February 2015.
The site of historic Super Bowl L will be decided in May from between Sun Life Stadium and the 49ers currently-under-construction venue in Santa Clara, Calif.