Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Atlanta for the first Thursday night game of the year. While in Atlanta, Goodell made clear the connection between Atlanta hosting a third Super Bowl and Atlanta getting a new stadium.
The NFL has staged Super Bowl XXVIII and XXXIV at the Georgia Dome, which was opened in 1992.
“I think this is a great community,” Goodell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But as I mentioned to the people earlier today, the competition for the Super Bowl is really at an all-time high, in a large part because of the new stadiums. The provisions that they have for a new stadium in this great community, I think that’s a pretty powerful force. We have a history of going back to communities when they have those new stadiums.”
The Falcons want an open-air venue, and Goodell made clear his preference for the absence of a roof.
“We’ve been here before and we awarded the 2014 Super Bowl to New York,” Goodell said. “The game is meant to be played in the elements.”
And there’s the conclusive proof that, even though the New York, open-air Super Bowl was sold as a one-shot deal, it won’t be.
Now that the potential universe of locations has been expanded from the New Orleans-Miami-Tampa-Arizona rotation, with periodic stops in Houston, Dallas, and wherever else a Super Bowl was used as a carrot for a new stadium, the NFL has created a continuous leverage mill, in which cities constantly will be looking to one-up each other in the hopes not only of hosting one Super Bowl, but of hosting multiple Super Bowls.