2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl won't be like Indy
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Al Kelly is well aware of the rave reviews Super Bowl XLVI week has received for its logistical convenience, lovely weather and Midwestern good cheer.
"I'm not sure it's apples and oranges," he said. "It's probably fruit and vegetables, not even in the same category."
Still, Kelly and more than half his full-time staff of 16 are here, learning what might translate in two years. One example is the popular downtown pedestrian village, complete with a zip line.
The New York/New Jersey version will require "multiple epicenters of activity," Kelly said. "We have to try to figure that out . . . We're not going to take over four square blocks of Manhattan and have everything happen there."
In Indianapolis, most venues are close to one another, including the stadium, the media center and -- most improbably -- the Giants' hotel.
But the convenience of a small host city comes at a price. Hotel rooms are in extremely short supply, a problem made worse when the big-market Giants and Patriots qualified.
"If you're lucky enough to stay in one of the 5,000 hotel rooms downtown, this is phenomenal," Kelly said. "Throw on top of it 50- to 60-degree weather and being able to walk to everything, it's tremendous. That's not going to be us in New York."
Specific plans are not in place for two years from now, other than the fact the NFL and media headquarters will be in Manhattan and the teams will stay in New Jersey.
So moving people around clearly will be a challenge, short of a zip line over the Hudson River. But the great unknown is the weather.
Kelly said his dream scenario is what Indianapolis has had this week, "then about 5 o'clock on Feb. 2, 2014, you get a little bit of snow. It totals maybe three inches, and then it lets up during the trophy ceremony."
After learning what they can here, Kelly and his staff will be out in greater force in New Orleans next year.
"One of the most amazing statistics I've heard in all of my research is that for the last New Orleans Super Bowl in 2002, only 2,500 cars drove to the game," Kelly said. "Nobody's walking to MetLife Stadium."
Kelly said that even with its unique challenge, the NFL has embraced the New York/New Jersey event.
"There may be the skeptics and critics out there, but the vibe from the NFL from the commissioner on down has been nothing but incredible excitement about the possibilities," he said. "There are so many variables and it is so different, I think people are looking to see what really is going to happen."