Yesterday, the NFL owners named the location of the 2014 Super Bowl: The new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey.
Up until this point, all previous Super Bowls had been played in either cities with warm winter climates, or enclosed stadiums. The new Meadowlands stadium will not have a roof, and as anyone who has lived in the Northeast United States can tell you, February in New Jersey is generally not warm.
Why did they break from the precedent and award the Super Bowl to New Jersey? Mostly because NFL owners are jealous people. The majority of owners saw the big game always played in cities like New Orleans, Miami, and San Diego, and were disappointed that they would never have the opportunity to host.
But now that a precedent has been set, there’s nothing stopping teams like Washington, Philadelphia, and Denver from being awarded the big game as well.
So is this a good thing? There was a vocal opposition to the move, and here are their main arguments:
The Super Bowl should be played in a destination city
Some claim that the Super Bowl game is merely the culmination of a weekend long celebration. The city is also responsible for hosting parties and other Super Bowl related events. Because of this, they argued that the Super Bowl city should be one where people would want to visit, especially in February.
I bought into this argument for a while until I realized that the people making this argument were the sportswriters and others who would actually be going to the game. And why should I care if sportswriters get a nice vacation in February?
For the rest of us who will probably never have the opportunity to go to a Super Bowl, why would we care? By giving more cities the opportunity to host the game, it will allow more people across the country to have a chance to experience the Super Bowl atmosphere. I’m probably never going to get to go to a Super Bowl, so my only chance to get to go to Super Bowl related events would be if the game was played at FedEx Field.
And really, the precedent of having the game in a destination city has been removed long ago. They’ve held games in Minnesota, Detroit, and Jacksonville, and I don’t think any of these cities qualify as “destination” cities.
People are concerned about the game being played in adverse conditions. They are worried that it might be bitterly cold or snowing, and that the weather might affect the outcome of the game.
Even if you play the game in a warm city, weather still might play a part in the game. Unless the game is played indoors, you still run the risk of wind and rain, as we saw three years ago when it rained during the game in Miami.
And since when was football supposed to be played in pristine conditions anyway? Some of the greatest football games ever played have been played in sub-zero temperatures. Many playoff games are played under extreme weather conditions, so why should the Super Bowl be any different?
If the fans don’t want to sit out in the cold to watch the Super Bowl, then I suggest they don’t go. I don’t think anyone would pass on the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl because it was “too cold.” Then again, considering that many of the spectators are rich, maybe they would. Hey, they’re free to give their tickets away to someone who’d appreciate it.
Some may look at the weather we had this past winter and use that as reason why the game shouldn’t be played in a cold weather city. Once again, I point out that games have been played in cities like Minnesota without incident.
The snowpocalypse was not something that happens every year. If the game had been scheduled for the DC area this past season, it would have been a problem, but I’m sure they would have found a way to pull it off.
So yes, I think a cold weather Super Bowl could be a good thing. Here’s to hopefully seeing the big game being played in the DC area in 2018 or so!
Originally published in my blog: Stranger in a Strange Land