By Barry Janoff
February 5, 2013: Talking its cue from both the U.S. Postal Service and Broadway, the NFL said that, despite rumors to the contrary, neither snow nor rain would keep the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show from being canceled, and that the show must go on outdoors in MetLife Stadium.
"Chill out. Totally wrong. The show will go on as planned," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told NYSportsJournalism in response to stories that both the pre-game and halftime shows would be cancelled as a precaution to cold weather and the logistics of setting up and dismantling a stage in potential snow or sleet conditions.
In fact, as McCarthy said, "We’ve already had multiple meetings and have mapped out how we will have the pre-game and halftime shows in the stadium."
It would be difficult to imagine a Super Bowl without a half time show, especially with the next Big Game in the New York-New Jersey area and with TV audiences over the past few years reaching 114 million (Super Bowl XLVI with Madonna) and 104 million this past Sunday (Beyoncé and Desiny's Child).
One of the most memorable halftime shows occurred during Super Bowl XLI, played outdoors in what was then Dolphin Stadium (now Sun Life Stadium) in Southern Florida, when Prince performed "Purple Rain" during a rain shower.
One option would have been for the NFL to stage the halftime show off-site at an indoor venue in the New York-New Jersey area and telecast the concert live during halftime.
But McCarthy quickly put that to rest.
"I’m telling you we are planning on doing the show from the stadium itself. MetLife Stadium," he said.
And as McCarthy himself asked, "The bigger question is: Who will perform?"
Early favorites are "New Jersey's own" Bon Jovi, headed by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Another New Jersey-centric group, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, performed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII, but Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi have appeared together on-stage, including The Concert for (Hurricane) Sandy Relief this past December.
Of course, the NFL, which selects the halftime entertainment, is not bound to tap a band from the New York/New Jersey area.
Pepsi signed a five-year deal to sponsor the half time show beginning with Super Bowl XLVIII. Bridgestone had sponsored the halftime show for the previous five Super Bowls. Pepsi sponsored the show at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
"We’ve already had multiple meetings and have mapped out how we will have the pre-game and halftime shows in the stadium."
Pepsi came in at a prime time for halftime marketing. Following Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium, Super Bowl XLIX will be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium in 2015.
The historic Super Bowl L will be played in 2016 in the San Francisco 49ers new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara (as determined during an NFL owners meeting this past May).
Super Bowl LI will be played in 2017 in Houston's Reliant Stadium, also selected this past May.