On February 2, the United States’ biggest sporting event is coming to New York City. For the first time in 48 years, the Super Bowl will be hosted by the NY Giants/NY Jets in the Meadowlands. For the average football fan, it may seem confusing as to how a Super Bowl city is selected, so let’s take a look back to how we got here.
The Super Bowl city selection process is actually a bit secretive from the start. The NFL has said that host cities are selected based on several criteria. What kinds of renovations are being made to the stadium in question? Has the host franchise made strides to keep the league competitive? And probably most importantly, how willing the host city is to play ball with the NFL?
For Super Bowl 48, NYC was announced as the host on May 25, 2010. The final decision had come down to three cities with bids, New York, Miami, and Tampa Bay. Miami was eliminated after two secret rounds of NFL owner voting, and MetLife Stadium beat out Tampa Bay in the fourth and final round with a simple majority.
What’s special about Super Bowl 48 is that this will be the first ever “cold-weather” Super Bowl. The game has only been played in 14 different cities previously, three of which could be classified as cold-weather cities. In each of these instances, the game was played in a dome. On February 2, the game will be played outside in what is likely to be some pretty chilling temperatures. The Farmer’s Almanac is even predicting a blizzard.
Now all eyes are on New York City. A portion of Broadway that runs through Times Square will be shut down and converted into Super Bowl Boulevard in the week leading up to the game. For the first time ever, Media Day will be hosted at a venue other than the game day stadium. This year, it will take place at the Prudential Center instead of MetLife Stadium so that it doesn’t get too cold for anyone. New York City stores and restaurants and hotels are all preparing just like the 12 remaining NFL teams in hopes that this year’s big game is the best one yet. They even pushed NYC Restaurant Week back to make room for all of the festivities.
NYC will be under a microscope at the end of the month and will serve as a precedent for years to come. If everything goes as planned, Foxboro, Green Bay, and other cold weather towns will rejoice in hopes of hosting their own big game someday. If not, well I guess we can just keep going back to New Orleans and Miami every year.
No pressure, NYC, but everything’s kind of riding on you.