Will this be the first and last cold-weather Super Bowl?
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There are quite a few cities that would like the distinction of having such a grand event in their city. Twenty-three other NFL teams have outdoor stadiums. Some of them have hosted the big game, but quite a few of them are in cold-weather locations that have never hosted such an event. How about Buffalo, or Green Bay? Or imagine a Super Bowl in Chicago, which usually gets hit with much bigger storms than New York City.
Hopefully, when the last dollars are in the cash register, the New York-New Jersey region will have seen a major influx of tourist dollars. But this event wasn’t an easy one to bring to the metropolitan area. The spacious Javits Center wasn’t available, so the host committee had to scramble to find places for special events. Closing 10 blocks of Broadway is a brave try at finding accommodations for visitors, but it’s a gamble.
The cities that have hosted these galas in the past 10 years usually have wide plazas surrounding their stadiums, which can easily accommodate large crowds and locations for the sale of football memorabilia. Product sales are a big deal to the NFL and its teams. Visitors will lay out staggering amounts of money for team jackets, jerseys and various other items with logos of their favorite teams.
So the idea of more Super Bowls in winter-weather locations is no longer just an owner’s dream. By the time the last fan has left MetLife Stadium late Sunday night, team owners from other cold cities will be pleading for the same opportunity.
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.