NFL owners were clearly in an Empire state of mind last night when they voted to give New York City (and its Jets and Giants) the honor of hosting the 2014 Superbowl in what will be their new $1.6 billion stadium in northern New Jersey's Meadowlands. While the city is far from the first northern location for a Superbowl, the choice has stirred up controversy in the sporting world. In particular, the stir centers on the need to consider several aspects of the Superbowl location, one being the weather. Northern New Jersey in the dead of winter is cold. Should fans and players be put through such potentially freezing temperatures? Does the forecast really matter?
- Unfair Advantage, says Doug Farrar at Yahoo! Sports. Noting that the performance of teams, especially southern teams, can be dependent on the weather, he says, "Cold-weather non-dome teams are ostensibly built for their elements, and will generally have far more experience in those elements. Part of the idea of a neutral site is to eliminate the specter of a one-team advantage."
- Pointless, says Mike Lopresti at USA Today. Beginning with a slew of weather-related puns, Lopresti dives into the matter, questioning why the NFL would want to have its biggest game in non-perfect conditions. He says, "Playing football in lousy weather can be memorable, but so can driving a convertible through a blizzard. There is no reason to do either if you don't have to."
- Perfect Field Conditions, say the (biased?) New York media. City publications are jubilant over the prospect of America's biggest game coming to the city. The editors at New York Daily News say, "Now, at long last, a city that has - ahem - played host to more World Series than any other, and that has had more major events than any other in the world, will in 2014 host one of the greatest sports spectacles." Not to let history pass by in the decision, the New York Post editors remind us that "Modern-era professional football began right here -- in The Bronx."
- It's All About Love, says Anthony Stalter at the Washington Post. "If you're a true football fan, you don't care if the Super Bowl is played in San Diego or on a sheet of ice in Alaska. You're going to watch it because you love the game. So should the 2014 Super Bowl be played at the New Meadowlands Stadium, Soldier Field or Lambeau? Yes, why not."
- To the Owners, Weather Doesn't Matter, says Len Berman on his Huffington Post blog. He notes that what it comes down to is not so much about the weather or the prospect of the Jets playing the Giants (as Mayor Bloomberg has predicted), but instead about the influx of money into the city. He says, "this has little to do with the fans....Truthfully, this may be about naming rights for the new stadium. The Giants and Jets now have a better chance to cash in. More money to pour into the owners pockets. I'm sure that's why those people in Times Square were so excited about the announcement yesterday."
- To Fans at Home, Weather Doesn't Matter, says Michael Kun at the Washington Post, stating that not matter where it's being played, he'd rather "watch the game on television.... Oh, sure, the players themselves will feel the effects of playing in the cold, but that will only make the game more interesting for the rest of us. Unlike the warm weather Super Bowls, weather may actually be a factor. And that's a good thing for the game and for its fans."