(Long Island, N.Y.) Hell has frozen over…or at least East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first outdoor Super Bowl to be played in a cold weather environment will take place at the New Meadowlands in February of 2014 after a fourth round of votes amongst the 32 NFL team owners at the spring meetings in Dallas. The dream has come true, fellow New Yorkers.
There were three finalists for SBXLVIII, with South Florida (Miami) and Tampa Bay also in the running. After the first two rounds of votes, only Tampa and the New York/New Jersey contingents remained. When the third round did not produce 24 votes for one, it went to the final vote and Gotham had the majority.
“It’s going to be great for New York, New Jersey and the NFL,” Giants co-owner John Mara said on the NFL Network. His partner Steve Tisch added, “To get the support of the other 30 owners was an amazing experience.”
Along with the personnel from Big Blue, Gang Green also had a big player in the Super Bowl committee. “I like doing things for the first time along with my great partners,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told the NFL Network. “We hope it snows.”
Weather had been the sticking point in granting the Big Game to a city that could not provide either warm weather or a dome. In addition to the possibility of snow, cold air and heavy winds are closer to being a certainty in the evening at that time of year. But that didn’t prevent the owners from bringing a little bit of sunshine to the New York winter.
For a stadium that has yet to host its first football game, the New Meadowlands has certainly been a hit so far. “This is a chance for NFL fans to have a unique Super Bowl experience and enjoy one of the greatest cities in the world in the process,” said Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum. “What’s more, we get a chance to showcase one of the league’s best new stadiums in the league’s most important game. A fitting stage for our new home.”
The stadium is said to be the most technologically advanced in the NFL and holds 82,500 fans. There are also 222 suites, more than 10,000 club seats and 130,000 square feet in club space. So while there will be plenty of indoor seats available for the rich and famous, the average fan out there has not been forgotten. The Jets and Giants have announced that the Super Bowl Host Committee will distribute hand and feet warmers, blankets, self-warming seat cushions, heaters throughout open concourses, and offer heating ‘fire pits’ in the parking lot for tailgaters.
Now this will bring much chatter on which other NFL cities who never had a sniff putting their names in the hat. Places like Green Bay, New England and Washington come to mind. “I think we opened the doors for a lot of possibilities,” Tisch remarked, and he has a great point.
But first things first. New York/New Jersey leads off.