The NFL’s good fortune regarding the weather at Super Bowl XLVIII could help the league’s owners make a fortune. (OK, even more of a fortune.)
Apart from the increased pressure on future Super Bowl bids that comes from having cold-weather cities with open-air stadiums in the mix, the possible procurement of a Super Bowl could become the new carrot for stadium construction.
Every 20 years or so, current NFL stadiums need to be upgraded or replaced. In past years, the public money has come fairly easily, especially with the ever-present threat of a move to L.A. (and now London). With cities suddenly less relucntant to cough up the cash, the looming effort to build the next generation of stadiums could be aided by the promise of a Super Bowl.
It’s previously worked elsewhere, with the unspoken quid pro quo helping towns like Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Jacksonville offset the influx of public money by bringing a major economic impact (supposedly) to the region. Now, with every cold-weather city having an open-air stadium in play for a Super Bowl — and with politicians and owners publicly stumping for the game — the time eventually will come when hosting the Super Bowl gets tied to taxpayer money that will make the local venue better suited to host the premier American sporting event, either by building a new venue or significantly upgrading an existing one.
With only one Super Bowl per year and the next four already set (Arizona, San Francisco, Houston, and Minneapolis, Indianapolis, or New Orleans), the cold-weather, open-air approach becomes a long-term aspect of Super Bowl planning. It’ll likely happen every seven-to-10 years, providing the ultimate strategy for eventually replacing the current stadium with a swanky new building that has the best kind of bells and whistles: Those that someone else is paying for.