Other cold-weather cities watching Super Bowl XLVIII weather


If, as it appears, Super Bowl XLVIII won’t be flirting with a meteorological disaster, other cities with cold-weather climates but without climate-controlled stadiums will be trying to enter the Super Bowl rotation.

And that’s exactly how the NFL wants it.

It took the league nearly a half-century to realize the power of expanding the universe of potential Super Bowl destinations to include major cities that could experience major snowstorms on the day of the game.  With more cities in the mix to host the game, more bids will be submitted.  With more bids, the competition increases.  As the competition increases, the quality of the bids does, too.

In the end, the NFL and its teams will make a lot more money.

The key will be the weather.  Unless and until a blizzard forces the game to be moved by a day or two — or possibly a week — all cities that have the infrastructure to host the game but not a roof on the local stadium will be in play for future Super Bowls.

“Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore are all asking, ‘Is this something we can do?‘”Packers president Mark Murphy recently said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post.  “You’d be amazed how many fans and how many [Packers] shareholders here have asked the same thing.”

While the Green Bay area lacks the hotel rooms and other essentials for putting on the league’s biggest annual party, other cold-weather cities do — and they’ll all be inclined to roll the dice on the chance to roll the dice on the weather.

“I didn’t go in there with the idea this would necessarily open the door to other cities,” Giants co-owner John Mara told Maske of the bidding process that brought Super Bowl XLVIII to New York/New Jersey.  “We were in the process of building a new stadium.  Certainly the attraction to the other owners of the game being played in the media capital of the world was powerful.  [But] I do think if we do a good job and all goes well, it will open the door to other cities, yes.”

The loose, unspoken quid pro quo of public stadium financing also comes into play here.  If they build it, the Super Bowl will come.  While few open-air stadiums currently need to be replaced in cold-weather cities, the possibility of hosting a Super Bowl could be an important factor when the time comes to build a new venue in Washington.

Inevitably, other buildings used only 10 times per year will be deemed obsolete.  If the carrot of the Super Bowl can augment the stick of moving to L.A. or London, taxpayers will continue to subsidize shrewd billionaires.

It’s not something that will happen regularly.  Every seven to 10 years should be enough to keep the cold-weather cities interested and the warm-weather cities on their toes.  As a result, it could be 50 years or longer until a Super Bowl finally is affected by adverse winter weather.

In the interim, the Super Bowl bidding process will generate more and more money for the entity that has the exclusive power to determine where the game will be played.

52 responses to “Other cold-weather cities watching Super Bowl XLVIII weather

  1. Its most likely the only reason the streets and the highways are plowed here in philly they know the NFL is looking at that !

  2. I would love to see a super bowl played at Lambeau, Philly, or even Kansas City. I’ll be damned if I ever watch a super bowl in London though!

  3. I believe Mr. Florio is correct in pointing out that next weekend’s weather will have a big impact on the prospects of other cold-weather cities hosting the Super Bowl — which is an indication that the people making these decisions are not very bright.

    If the weather in Philadelphia, for example, is atrocious on SB weekend 20% of the time, then that is the level of risk, regardless of what happens in Jersey in 2014. If there is a blizzard next Sunday, that does not impact the weather in Philly in 2017 and should have no bearing on the discussion.

  4. I’d rather go to Denver before any of the other cold climate cities mentioned – not – even – close! 220 ski runs, 320 days of sunshine and 420 Mile Highs!

  5. Latest super bowl weather forecast has a snowstorm for New England on Sunday Feb 2.

    Keep an eye on it. Computer models never handle the location of a snowstorm accurately this far out.

  6. Dear Chicago Park District,

    Please read this short article and ask yourself again, is the downside to improving the playing field at Soldier Field really bigger than the upside? Sure, the current windchill is -30 degrees and the thought of sitting in the 400 level stands for 5 hours in late January sounds pretty extreme, but having a better field can at least let us dream a little. For a cold weather city, Chicago offers the support a true metropolis can bring and Soldier Field’s lake front location and downtown proximity adds to the aesthetic possibilities. But as long as the turf is crap, we’re going to defer all of the dreaming to cities like flippin’ Philadelphia? Did you know that the secret to a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is Cheez Whiz? I think Super Bowl goers would much rather prefer Italian Beef sandwiches.


  7. Since the middleclass NFL fan can no longer afford a ticket, parking, lodging, food and drink, I say play the damn game in the worst elements possible.
    In fact, since the middleclass has been priced out of this once-affordable event, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be played anywhere in the world, including London; provided the game can be viewed on TV in America at a reasonable time of day.

  8. Cleveland is prime for this, the downtown is vital, everything in walking distance of the stadium, a renovated stadium over the next 2 years. The birth place of football and the NFL is northern Ohio. And the way the league threw the team together, they owe Cleveland, big time.

  9. Baltimore. Perfect. Weather is better than those other places. Some winters we don’t get any snow and the temp never goes below 20. Lots to see and do. Plenty of rooms between Baltimore and Washington. 3 Major airports. Great roads. Excellent public transportation. Beautiful and fun downtown. Downtown Washington a 30 minute train ride away. What else are they?

  10. The only people I hear bitching about the cold weather are members of the media that are upset they don’t get a nice warm vacation this year. They apparently fail to consider that half of all playoff games are typically played in poor weather each year.

    This year’s game was sold out long ago and tickets are selling for 4 times face value on the secondary market. All TV commercial time has been sold for record dollars.

    With all this in mind, do you really think the NFL gives a crap about the weather moving forward?

  11. Since the middleclass NFL fan can no longer afford a ticket, parking, lodging, food and drink, I say play the damn game in the worst elements possible.
    In fact, since the middleclass has been priced out of this once-affordable event, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be played anywhere in the world, including London; provided the game can be viewed on TV in America at a reasonable time of day.

    I disagree as the middle class has turned this into a friends and family gathering of food and fun in their homes. The idea of wasting money sitting too far from the field to see while sitting next to foul mouth drunks has dropped in popularity for most of the middle class . …. I say let the name droppers and mouth breathers go to the game in the snow….it will provide something else besides the ads to laugh at.

  12. problem with this entire argument is you don’t know what the weather patterns are predicting each winter.you dont know if its gonna be a bad or mild winter. But, the real reason why people dont want an outside super bowl is because the media and corporate sponsors doesn’t want to sit in cold weather.

  13. I’m looking forward to Super Bowls in Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philly, and yes, even Green Bay. Bring in a cruise ship or two and let everyone stay on that.

  14. Too bad this game is not in the media market of the world, as it’s not in NYC…it is over in New Jersey. That’s not NY or NYC.

    There is only one team and one stadium in the NFL, who reside in the state of NY.

    Go Bills!

  15. Arrowhead Stadium and Kansas City should host a Super Bowl!

    Lamar Hunt founded the AFL for crying out loud, and gave the Super Bowl its name.

    Plus, Arrowhead is one of the best stadium atmospheres in the NFL to watch a football game in.

  16. So…… its ok to play ANY other NFL game, regular season and playoff, in cold weather but not the Super Bowl? The majority of crying people are upset because they are rooting for Manning and they know he sucks in the cold. The the running game of Denver is not very good, especially against a stud defense like Seattle.

    Leave it to the NFL officials to make sure things even out with some blown calls favoring Denver and maybe a few “I didnt see that” moments.

  17. Baltimore

    You must be joking……right? Hey why not maybe the Amazon rain Forest should be considered also. He’ll the Gobi desert makes as much sense as Baltimore, but I have nicer things about the desert folk not so the Baltimorons.

  18. How about making the site of the Super Bowl the venue of the number 1 overall seed in the league. Even if they don’t make it to the Super Bowl, commit to that venue anyway for planning purposes and logistics.

    If this were the case, I wonder if there would be instances where top seeds are playing balls to the wall in week 17 instead of resting players for potential home field advantage in the Super Bowl and an economic windfall for the community.

  19. There’s not a chance in hell the SB will EVER be held at Lambeau in the future! Like the article states, there’s no hotels for all the people. You have to drive a half hour south to a crap hole of a town Appleton. Besides, Lambeau lacks the flare of a real stadium. It has the history but not the amenities. Sorry cheese heads, your way over your head on this one.

  20. And what exactly is wrong with playing a football game in the snow? The most enjoyable game of the year to watch was Lions at Eagles in a blizzard.

    They didn’t cancel that game and it’s hard to imagine a harder snowstorm than that day.

    Are you suggesting that the fancy pants crowd that gets most of the tickets to the Super Bowl are pansies?

  21. Football is played in ALL Weather…
    The Super Bowl should be too…

    the only reason the NFL doesnt like it, is the pointless halftime show

  22. Wisconsin would need to build a high speed rail connecting Green Bay, Milwaukee,Madison,Chicago, and the twin cities to make a Super Bowl happen, maybe someday

  23. A Super Bowl played in Green Bay could possibly be the most watched symbolic Super Bowl ever played.
    Playing for the Lombardi trophy where it all began.

  24. Baltimore is just now coping with a senseless tragedy, so those trashing its people at 4:38 today should understand the word karma, and the phrase “low class.”

  25. Green Bay area lacks the hotel rooms…. and indoor plumbing…. and dentistry….. and the common sense not to marry your own cousin.

  26. No one is saying Green Bay is the only place or the best location for a Super Bowl event, but they should at least be considered.
    Green Bay seems to find plenty of hotel rooms when they play in the NFC championship games or host playoff games every year since 1992??????
    Everyone knows playing in the stadium in Green Bay is the culmination of the NFL experience, ask any player or analyst that can grammatically complete a sentence.
    For anyone who has never been to an NFL game in Green Bay please do not comment. Unlike most stadiums around the NFL which are built in the urban city (ghetto) crime, traffic, parking all a nightmare. Not so in Green Bay.
    Just because you have a stadium in the middle of the projects and a plethora of fine motel 6 establishments, the highest crime rate, the highest poverty population, and the highest level of unemployment in the country should not entitle your team to host a super bowl.

  27. Joemontanaflacco says:
    Jan 26, 2014 6:28 PM
    Baltimore is just now coping with a senseless tragedy, so those trashing its people at 4:38 today should understand the word karma, and the phrase “low class.”

    1 1
    Report comment

    Sad about the tragedy in Baltimore and it reminds of another one in Atlanta awhile ago …..karma…please grow up.

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