Unless you live under a rock, you're probably aware that Super Bowl XLVIII is going to be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Next year's Super Bowl venue has already stirred up quite the debate.
NFL purists feel that the game was meant to be played outside in the weather. Detractors feel that the event is too big to risk the complications that something as uncontrollable as weather could cause.
In February, Lindsay Wilkes-Edrington of The Huffington Post published an article describing the economic impact that the Super Bowl was expected to have on New Orleans. In the article she refers to a study performed by Economics professor Victor Matheson. Matheson said;
"The data shows that Super Bowl host cities usually see a benefit somewhere between $30 and $90 million dollars."
The financial boost that hosting a Super Bowl gives to the host city is one of the major reasons those cities bid to host in the first place. It is only naturally for those cold weather cities to feel that they deserve a piece of this action.
The financial boost that a host city would look to gain doesn't just come from the fans that actually attend the game. The Super Bowl has been built into an experience. This past Super Bowl was actually a week long experience as shown by neworleanssuperbowl.com.
One of the main reasons that warm weather cities host the game is because they are able to attract visitors looking for an experience. In 2012, it was estimated that 1.1 million people visited Super Bowl Boulevard, which was set up as part of the Indianapolis Super Bowl experience. Early figures from this year show that just over 500,000 people walked the Boulevard that was set up in New Orleans.
Would cold or snowy weather deter you from attending the Super Bowl or its related festivities?
It is event's like these that make the experience and garner the desired profits. Aside from the annual NFL sponsored events, there are also unique host city sponsored events. I fully expect East Rutherford to come up with some pretty cool city sponsored events. That being said, I just don't see them having the same flare or draw as say partying in New Orleans on Bourbon Street.
When it comes right down to it, only a small percent of the visitors during Super Bowl week actually attend the game. With that in mind, it becomes imperative for the host city to be able to entertain everyone else. When the host city is viewed as a vacation spot, naturally more people are going to attend. New Jersey in 20 degree weather might be a hard sell as a desirable place to travel to, and spend a few days.
The above mentioned weather scenario would probably be considered ideal. People from all over the country travel to see the Super Bowl. What if it snows? It wouldn't even have to snow on the day of the game to create havoc. Any snow that week would have the potential to create travel issues and potentially hinder plans for those coming out for events besides the game.
According a report by Daniel Kaplan of SportBusinessDaily.com, the league is in the process of putting together a backup plan. The article then goes on to discuss how in severe situations the game could be bumped up a day or pushed back a week. Obviously it's better to be safe than sorry. If a situation were to occur where the game had to be moved, it would be a nightmare for fans planning to be in attendance.
We live in such a world of convenience and instant gratification. With that in mind, it's not too far fetched to imagine people skipping out on the event just to avoid potential hiccups. After all, chances are the Super Bowl will be back in warmer climates next year. For some, this will translate to less of a headache and a better option.
Come February 2014, the Super Bowl is going to take place in East Rutherford, NJ. I am even willing to say with most certainty that the game will sell out. Cold weather isn't going to stop people from seeing the biggest sporting event in this country. This right here is the good.
The bad is everything else.