NFL Gives Hope For Super Bowl In NYC In 2010
A long-time dream of New York sports enthusiasts, to have the Super Bowl played in this city, became more of a reality last week when the National Football League gave indications it would consider staging the spectacular event in the proposed new football stadium on Manhattan’s West Side.
In a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki, National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue indicated that a decision to approve a Super Bowl here could come as early as next spring. Tagliabue also said the league would consider waiving the rule that requires a team to play two seasons in a new stadium before being eligible to host a Super Bowl.
In that case, it is possible the 2010 Super Bowl could be played in the proposed New York Sports and Convention Center a year after its expected opening in 2009.
Bloomberg and Pataki are working feverishly to have the billion-dollar stadium open for the hoped for 2012 Olympics.
Bloomberg’s reaction to the optimistic report was, "New York City and the Super Bowl are a natural fit—the world’s most popular sporting event belongs in the ‘World’s Second Home.’"
Pataki, greeting the favorable news, stated, "This demonstrates the extent to which Convention Corridor will give New York City the opportunity to vie for hundreds of exciting events like the Super Bowl, that in turn will create millions of dollars in economic activity."
The mayor went on to say, "When the New York Sports and Convention Center is complete, New York will finally have a world-class facility for the country’s top sports events along with the economic activity and jobs that come with them."
In rapid succession he ticked off the benefits the stadium will bring.
"This facility, which will have a retractable roof, will be a home for the New York Jets, a central venue for the 2012 Olympic Games if we are fortunate enough to be selected, and an unforgettable location with unparalleled energy and spirit for an incredible Super Bowl, which alone would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity."
In his letter, Tagliabue said that Jets owner Woody Johnson had updated the NFL membership on plans for the stadium at the league meeting in Florida. Tagliabue said the Super Bowl schedule was set through February 2008 and the selection of sites for 2009 and beyond that would be discussed at a league meeting later this year.
"If an application were submitted to host a Super Bowl in New York, I believe a decision could be made by spring 2005," Tagliabue stated.
He then explained, "According to NFL policy, a team must play two seasons in a new stadium prior to hosting a Super Bowl. Therefore, since the Jets plan to play their first game in the [new stadium] in 2009, they would not be eligible to host a Super Bowl until February 2011."
But, he added quickly, "The NFL would consider a waiver to that policy in compelling circumstances. One such circumstance might be the needs of a 2012 Olympic Games in New York, which would require substantial alterations to the stadium."
He concluded, "As New York City is the home of the NFL, we are excited about the showcase potential the NYSCC would offer our sport.
"We will be working with you and the Jets to bring the plan to fruition."
Should the Super Bowl be played here in 2010, it would be the first time it was to be held in a northern city. Until now, it has been played only in southern United States sun belt cities such as Miami, New Orleans or Houston.
For many years, local sports promoters have made efforts to have the championship game played at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, but the idea never gathered any momentum.
As for this latest plan to bring the Super Bowl to the Jets stadium, there are still serious obstacles in the way. New York City must be chosen as the site of the 2012 Olympic Games and the stadium must be approved. While chances are good for both, neither event is yet a sure thing.