Jets, Giants want new home to host 2014 Super Bowl
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – You might need more than a ticket to go to the Super Bowl in 2014 – try a winter coat, gloves and a hat.
The Giants and Jets want to bring the Super Bowl to their new 82,500-seat stadium in New Jersey in four years in what most certainly would be a chilly NFL title game. The $1.6 billion stadium set to open next year does not have a retractable roof or a dome.
“Some of the greatest games in NFL history have been played in cold weather, including our championship game in Green Bay two years ago,” Giants chief executive John Mara said Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “So why not the Super Bowl? There is no better place than New York and New Jersey to showcase the premier sporting event in the world.”
After receiving approval from a league committee to bid, the Giants and Jets announced on Thursday that they will submit a preliminary proposal to host the game by April 1.
The NFL owners’ Super Bowl Advisory Committee allowed the bid despite the traditional requirement that host regions have a minimum temperature of 50 degrees or stadiums with domes or retractable roofs. The committee gave approval with the understanding that the bid represents a unique opportunity to celebrate the new stadium and the great heritage of the NFL in the New York region.
No other cities have announced plans to bid on the game, although other contenders are expected.
Team owners will decide where the 2014 Super Bowl will be played in a vote at a league meeting in Dallas in May. The next four Super Bowls will be played in Miami, Dallas, Indianapolis and New Orleans.
NFL history is dotted with some remarkable cold-weather title games. The Giants beat the Packers 23-20 in overtime in the NFC title game on Jan. 21, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis., with the temperatures at minus-3 degrees (wind chill of minus-24).
Cincinnati beat San Diego 27-7 in the 1981 AFC title game known as the Freezer Bowl. The temperature in Ohio was minus-9, with 35 mph winds making it feel like minus-59.
The one almost everyone remembers is the 1967 NFL title game known as the Ice Bowl in Green Bay. The Packers beat Dallas 21-17 in a game played with the temperature at minus-13 and a wind chill of minus-48.
“People still talk about what a great game that was,” former Cowboys halfback Dan Reeves said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “The weather is something people talk about a lot. It was difficult to play in, don’t get me wrong. But football is an outdoor sport and I loved to play outdoors. That’s the way the game is supposed to be played and I would like to see that.”
Reeves, who threw a 50-yard touchdown pass in the game, said some of the fan events associated with a Super Bowl might be limited by cold weather, which could be why the league has concerns.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant thought a Super Bowl in cold weather might be worth a try.
“That would be stepping out (of) the box a little bit,” he said Thursday. “That would be a little different. That could work. You’ve got to play in cold weather anyway, so most teams are used to it. That would be different for the Super Bowl.”
A New York/New Jersey Super Bowl would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, and serve as a major boost for the area, creating hundreds of jobs related to staging the game, the teams said.
“It’s time for the biggest game in football to be played on the biggest stage in the world,” Jets owner Woody Johnson and Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said in a joint statement as chairmen of the bid committee. “We are confident that the appeal and prestige of the New York City metropolitan region, coupled with the innovative capabilities of our brand-new state-of-the-art facility, can provide a unique and exciting experience for the teams and fans, as well as the entire league and the sport of football.”
The Jets are familiar with Super Bowl bids. When they were negotiating to build the West Side Stadium in Manhattan a few years ago, they had won the NFL bid to host the 2010 Super Bowl. That proposed stadium had a dome, but the Jets never got the OK to build it.
The new stadium will be the first constructed to serve as the home stadium of two NFL teams. It also holds the distinction of being the largest privately financed stadium in U.S. history.
The Super Bowl would join an impressive list of events scheduled for the new stadium, including college football matchups of Navy vs. Notre Dame and Army vs. Rutgers, and stops on the Bon Jovi and U2 world concert tours.
“Even though our stadium is months away from completion, with this bid, it is setting an early precedent of what’s to come,” said Steve Tisch, chairman and executive vice president of the Giants.
Highlights of the new stadium include four massive HD video display boards in each of the corners; a ribbon board that circles the interior bowl; HD monitors throughout the stadium; and 20 HD video pylons.
Outside the stadium, a 350,000-square-foot outdoor plaza will offer fan activities and pregame entertainment zones. A signature amenity will be a new rail line that drops off passengers in front of the stadium. —
AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle contributed to this report.