New York Super Bowl could lead to more cold-weather hosts
By Jim Slater ,AFP
January 29, 2014, 12:08 am TWN
NEW YORK -- With up to US$600 million in economic impact from this week's Super Bowl, it's no wonder New York wants to become a high-rotation host of America's biggest sporting spectacle.
But other National Football League team owners look at New York and echo Frank Sinatra's famous song, saying if the first cold-weather outdoor Super Bowl can make it there, it can make it anywhere — and bring that financial boost with it.
New York Giants co-owner and organizing committee co-chairman Jonathan Tisch estimated the economic impact of Sunday's title showdown between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks on the New York metro area at US$550 million to US$600 million.
That includes not only spending from some of the estimated 400,000 visitors to the region for Super Bowl-related activities but also marketing benefits that might lure tourists and convention business from around the globe.
“Hopefully when we do all the tallying for weeks to come, the other 30 owners will say to themselves when there's a chance to do it again that 'Super Bowl 48 in New York and New Jersey was a huge success. Let's try to do this once every 10 years,'” Tisch said.
Super Bowls have only been played in warm cities like Miami, New Orleans or San Diego or in domed stadiums in cold cities like Detroit, Minneapolis or Indianapolis.
Minneapolis, in fact, announced details Monday of a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl in a new domed stadium against New Orleans and Indianapolis. NFL owners will decide a winner in May.
If this week's pioneering effort is a success, it might just give team owners in a dozen outdoor, cold-weather markets like Chicago, Green Bay, Denver or Buffalo the notion that they can win a chance to host the big game and reap the benefits.
“I would think so,” New York Jets owner and organizing committee co-chairman Woody Johnson said when asked about such markets making Super Bowl bids.
“The game is played in all weather. Why shouldn't the Super Bowl be played in all weather?
“We want to thank the NFL owners for allowing us to break the ice barrier. I think it will go off well.”
New York typically gets plenty of attention from convention groups and tourists even without a Super Bowl, but organizing committee president Al Kelly said the key is the cold-weather timing.
“It's important to note that this is historically a slow time of year,” he said. “There's a marketing effect that will benefit New York and New Jersey for years to come.”
There are also charity initiatives for the region that include rebuilding some areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“It will have a decades-long tail because of our legacy efforts,” Kelly said.
The NFL's annual television rights fees will reach US$6 billion this year while a 30-second Super Bowl television commercial will sell for a record US$4 million this year, ensuring profits for media partners for some of America's most watched telecasts.
Ticket prices are at record highs and NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman says there is no concern that they have overestimated the desire of fans to pay higher prices on the resale market to sit in the cold at the game.
“Tickets are in incredibly strong demand,” he said. “The secondary market is very strong.”
And the NFL has turned Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard, an area filled with advertising from NFL corporate partners and attractions aimed at fans who cannot afford tickets.
“We will make a truly iconic event take place on the most iconic street in America,” New York's first deputy mayor Tony Shorris said. “There's no region in America better equipped to handle an event of this scale.”
And this Broadway debut figures to be a smash hit.
“The greatest game in the world will be played on the greatest stage in the world,” Tisch said.