Goodell: Don't sweat the weather for New York Super Bowl in 2014
With temperatures hovering below 20 degrees Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to paint a sunny picture of next year's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.
Bloomberg and Goodell were joined by Jets owner Woody Johnson, Giants president John Mara and treasurer Jonathan Tisch, and other members of the Super Bowl host committee at a news conference at City Hall to announce some of the events and logistics surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII. All involved embraced the frigid temperatures that likely will greet the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area next year.
"I grew up in a world where [football] was played outdoors in the real weather," said Bloomberg, who recalled attending frigid Giants games at Yankee Stadium in the 1960s. "That's one of the things that makes it special."
It could be extra special. Here's the long-range forecast for the matchup at MetLife Stadium, from the soon-to-be printed Farmers' Almanac: "An intense storm, heavy rain, snow and strong winds. This could seriously impact Super Bowl XLVIII."
Cold weather on game day is nothing new, but as Goodell and others stressed, the Super Bowl has become a week-long series of events, many of which take place outdoors. That will be the case next year, as the marquee fan experience will be a "Super Bowl Boulevard" in Manhattan.
A section of Broadway from 34th Street to 44th Street will be the site of a number of free attractions -- football clinics, NFL player appearances, nightly concerts -- from Wednesday to Saturday leading up to the Feb. 2 game.
"This is something unique and special that only New York can do," Goodell said. "We expect this will set a new bar and may be something we'll be doing in the future."
The Sheraton in Times Square will serve as the media center for more than 5,000 credentialed media members. The annual circus known as media day will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and the participating teams will stay at hotels in New Jersey. The AFC representative will practice at the Jets' facility in Florham Park, N.J., and the NFC representative will practice at the Giants' facility in East Rutherford.
Super Bowl host committee president Al Kelly said a study estimated the economic impact of the Super Bowl to be $550-600 million for the area.
"I think the reality is all boats are going to rise," Kelly said. "This is a tremendous economic boom to the region."
With so many fans flooding the area and travel required from Manhattan to New Jersey, there are obvious transportation concerns. But Bloomberg is confident that those will be handled.
"Keep in mind, we do it lots of Sundays in the fall. This is not something we're going to do for the first time," Bloomberg said. "That stadium fills up virtually every Sunday for three or four months, so it's not anything different. New York is capable of handling big events. We do an enormous number of big events."