Sullivan: Countdown Begins For New Jersey's Super Bowl
Excerpt: "Early this afternoon, Governor Christie will make his way to the famed New Orleans building Gallier Hall, ascend a Vince Lombardi Mardi Gras float, and take a handoff from this year’s Super Bowl host committee members, the symbolic passing of the torch from one city to another.
Maybe he should wear some gloves, preferably of the ski variety.
In the face of anxiety over possible dire traffic congestion and worst-case weather scenarios for next year’s wintertime, open-air game at MetLife Stadium, the parties coordinating Super Bowl XLVIII used the past week in New Orleans to put those concerns to rest.
From an assertion early in the week by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco that an outdoor game in the cold Northeast stadium is “stupid” to a late counterclaim by Giants quarterback Eli Manning that a Super Bowl in the Meadowlands is “good for the game,” the issue stayed alive, weaving its way out of New Orleans and heading north to our (snow-covered?) front lawns.
As you sit back on your couches and tune in your televisions to watch the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers determine this year’s NFL champion, remember this: We’re next.
And as we put our event-planning, logistics-coordinating, big-market, big-city reputations to the test, we do so with more than the credibility of the New York/New Jersey area on the line. After earning the right to host the game because the NFL made a first-time exemption for regular rules regarding average temperatures and retractable roofs, organizers now hope a successful game will set the stage for similar sites in the future.
“All the other cold-weather markets are rooting for us. We’re carrying the banner,” Jim Kirkos, president of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, said inside the New Orleans Convention Center, where his group manned an information table all week.
The pressure is on to set a successful stage in the face of two enormous, unprecedented challenges. The Super Bowl has never before been staged in a combination city with a physical footprint as large as the one that will stretch from midtown Manhattan’s Times Square to East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium to Newark’s Prudential Center and everywhere in between. And, of course, the game has never been set in a place that could be under 2 feet of snow.
“Undoubtedly, the game next year is going to have an impact on future decisions for open-air, cold-weather sites,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday, sounding an ominous warning bell for the likes of wannabe hosts such as New England, Chicago or Buffalo.
“We certainly don’t want to be one and done,” said Ed Kelly, CEO of the New York/New Jersey host committee." Read more...