NFL won’t rule out a move of Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLVIII will be remembered for the possibility of moving the game to a different day.  Super Bowl XLIX could be remembered for the possibility of moving the game to a different state.

With Arizona potentially passing a law that would allow business owners to deny service to gay couples on religious grounds, the NFL could be pulling the plug on the next Super Bowl, which is due to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” the NFL said in a statement issued to Albert Breer of NFL Network.  “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

Asked by Breer whether the league has an alternate site picked for Super Bowl XLIX, the league declined comment.  And all that that implies.

It wouldn’t be easy to move the game to a new location.  Apart from a suitable stadium, the host city needs available hotel space, a convention center for media events and Radio Row, and a security plan.

Ultimately, the league’s owners would decide whether the Super Bowl would be moved.  That requires 24 of them to agree to what would be an unprecedented course of action, which surely would cost plenty of money.

The effort to legitimize discrimination against gays comes less than a month after Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill complained about Glendale’s failure to fully embrace the obligations of hosting the Super Bowl.  If the Glendale doesn’t want the game, Arizona may help them shed that burden.

132 responses to “NFL won’t rule out a move of Super Bowl XLIX

  1. AWESOME! If this horrid travesty of an idea makes it to the books I would really love it if they moved the game. they should do it anyway because of their awful immigration laws and sheriff joe! Tthe superbowl ratings would definitely take a hit if it was played in Arizona under these circumstances.

  2. This is an embarrassment, not only for Arizona, but for your whole country. Something has to be seriously wrong (with the system and the people involved) for this to happen.

    I hope Arizona lose the Super Bowl regardless of how this turns out.

  3. I watch the NFL to get away from this crap, it used to be a mini vacation away from day to day politics.

    It used to be that at any point you could sit next to someone you didn’t even know and talk football while watching a game.

    The NFL would be wise to trend lightly and step out of the way of the political police.

  4. Here is an idea, live and let live. That means if you don’t want to partake in what you view as a religious ceremony, the state should let you be just as the state should have no say in whether or not you can marry someone of the same gender. I mean where is the over-riding states interests in denying either situation?

  5. New Orleans would be a great place to have all the SBs. It’s quite the place. I have been there several times and it’s a city that knows how to handle large crowds and certainly knows entertainment!

  6. The game should be moved if Arizona authorizes “legal” discrimination. However, having said that, it will be extremely difficult to get enough hotel space. In any city that is a destination town, there are no massive blocks of hotel space available when you’re looking less-than-a-year out.

  7. The bigger issue would be, if that discriminatory law passed, would the AZ franchise be moved to a different State? Someplace like LA for instance.

  8. The Olympic games were held in Sochi and Beijing so I am sure the NFL can also hold their noses while the game is held in Glendale

    unless of course they can make more money ( or should I say extort) more money from some other dimwitted group of public officials willing to hold the event

  9. Just more pressure on the gov of Ariz to veto it, which she almost has to do, and further solidifies the NFL stance that they’re the league of tolerance. PR move, but a good one.

  10. The NFL isn’t “in the way of political police”. They’re simply recognizing that gays exist, and they’re people who deserve basic human rights. Something Arizona seems to be very successful at failing to do.

  11. Everyone on here saying move it to new orleans apparently did not see the superbowl 49ers vs Ravens. Your state can’t even provide electricity for the whole game

  12. This is all but VETOed at this point.

    Just so everyone is aware, there is an uproar from within Arizona as to how this was allowed to happen. People want heads to roll.

  13. The good news is that if Gov Whoo-hoo signs the bill with the resultant loss of the SB49 most of the Repugnants will be thrown out of office in November. And there is a liberal minority in this state praying for that to happen.

  14. You know, I felt that NY/NJ did an outstanding job hosting the Superb Owl and would like to see them host more regularly. World class area that’s skilled at hosting big events. That was some needed variety from the usual tame bores like Arizona and Florida.

  15. Great! Now all Goodell’s using London as a viable alternative as leverage BS can start.

  16. Is Arizona the most bigoted state in the Union? Didn’t they almost lose the Super Bowl a few years back because they refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day?

  17. Move the Cardinals to L.A. The state of Arizona doesn’t deserve a professional football team and the financial benefits that go along with it.

  18. I think those who think the government should endorse discrimination against certain groups of citizens for religious reasons haven’t really thought it through.

    How about no service for “infidels” or women who don’t have a male family member with them? The possibilities are essentially endless.

  19. Hey Los Angeles! Are you watching and listening? Here’s your new team.
    Quick and easy move if there’s a facility available.

  20. For those of you who advocate moving the bowlbecause you dont agree with the political policies of the state, howwill you react when the NFL chooses to makea political statement you dont agree with. We want to move out of NY because their laws unfairly infringe on the right to bear arms, or we are moving from Green Baybecause wedont agree with their stance on right to work. Be careful taking political positions. There will always be those who disagree with you and you wont always be in the majority.

  21. New Orleans can host it on short notice but let them know soon so they can get the food and beverage orders in early and clear the bookings at all the big party venues. Call today!!

  22. Seriously, just change Arizona’s name to “West Mississippi”, build a wall around it, and confine fundamentalists (those whose agenda is to impose their particular religion’s views on others) of all faiths to its unfriendly confines.

    Then, make a TV reality series called, “Escape From West Mississippi”.

  23. if this thing passes in arizona, the NFL and all teams, including the cardinals, hopefully would do what is right and boycott the state, and without delay choose another city site for the SB. take your business elsewhere NFL, to a more desirable (anywhere), neutral, sensible site! obviously, arizona doesn’t really want to host events, and make the $$$ that could be generated, if they’re not willing to accommodate all peoples who may be involved in or attending that event. their politics/way of thinking is stubbornly stuck in the 1800’s on all civil rights issues with no signs of changing on any of them. if this passes, boycott arizona!

  24. People thinking this is the NFL getting involved in politics need to get a clue. Businesses aren’t into losing money, no matter how backward this state wants to be about oppressing people. Why you need a law to let people know you don’t like them is beyond me, but leave it to bigots to come up with new stuff all the time. Most people don’t go where they’re not welcome, and I’m sure the gay people have a list of where they’re not welcome. Why would you put money in people’s pockets who hate you that much? Back to the NFL, they’re just going with the majority of people who btw even the Republican constituents in the general population here are calling for Brewer to veto this asinine law that’s again putting this state in a bad light.

  25. It is sad that AZ keeps failing further and further back from the rest of the west. Congrats Utah you have now moved up a spot:

  26. The NFL is claiming they are opposed to discrimination. According to, discrimination is defined as:

    “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit”

    Doesn’t the NFL still have a Rooney Rule? I’m finding this situation quite ironic…

  27. Businesses can refuse service to whoever they want and the government cannot do anything about it. That is called liberty. If you’re affected by the business ban of whatever it is, go somewhere else. If you think it’s mean, go somewhere else. That is the business owners property. Not the governments. Not yours. If they say you can’t come in, then too bad, you can’t go in. I don’t care how discriminatory it is. Go somewhere else. The free market will put them out of business due to poor service to the community and poor reputation. Let the free market sort it all out.

  28. When Arizona first was awarded a Super Bowl there was a stipulation. Arizona was one of the last states to recognize Martin Luther King day. The only reason they passed it was to get the Super Bowl. Now here is another bill. Arizona will go in the way of the money.

  29. Upon hearing this Jimmy Haslem called Roger Goodell to inquire about the Superbowl being moved to Cleveland. Goodell said no thank you, and hung up the phone.
    Haslem then told reporters “there were discussions.”

  30. taintedsaints2009 says:
    Businesses can refuse service to whoever they want and the government cannot do anything about it.

    Um … that’s not factually correct.

    With a few exceptions, Federal Law prohibits businesses from refusing service to people based on race, religion, and sex. LGBT rights are currently not a protected class by the Fed; however, there are states, counties, and cities who have enacted protection against discrimination/profiling/refusing service based on sexual orientation.

    And the reason those protections had to be codified into law was there were places where the “free market” said it was okay to have “whites only” businesses.

    Up until 1967, most of the old confederacy had laws against men and women with different colored skin getting married and/or sleeping in the same bed.

  31. Whoa whoa whoa! The NFL’s policies prohibit discrimination and emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness? 75 percent of the players are black! And I think Jonathan Martin would have something to say about the tolerance and inclusiveness. And let me get this straight, the NFL has a problem with a particular state’s laws yet the NFL tells players what they can and can’t do all the time and fine them ridiculous amounts of money when they aren’t followed to its expectations. But yet the NFL had no problem with the two super bowl teams whose states have laws increasing drug usage.

  32. I think all religious organize group should be tax like any business, why in hell do they deserve a tax break, we need freedom from religion, and to be able to hunt on Sunday. Move the super bowl a state that is not full of hate. Bill

  33. It is none of the NFL business. It is up to the people of the state to make it’s laws. The NFL is entertainment and that is it.

  34. KC was turned down having a Super Bowl because the NFL said it was to cold and they needed a retractable roof added on Arrowhead. Then a couple years later give it to a cold weather place with no retractable roof. For fairness sake give it to KC. After all Lamar Hunt did name the Super Bowl, and help merge the AFL and NFL.

  35. San Diego should be the venue every year and anybody who disagrees probably hasn’t been to San Diego.

    The city is founded upon nearby military bases as well as transplants from all over the nation which is why the Chargers fanbase is so minimal compared to podunk places like Green Bay where the only lifestyle is to be a Packer fan (no offense but it’s true).

    While the majority of the nation has been pounded with weather issues the only issue going on in San Diego is it seems our Winter is like our Summer.

    Just a same city politics are so screwed up they can’t put a new stadium together.

  36. Seattle is over due for a Super Bowl after building a new stadium. It has all of the facilities in place and better weather in February than New York. Take in Vancouver while you are here.

  37. Let’s play charades: Two words…first word, sounds like Redskins…second word, sounds like hypocrites

  38. Instead of doing a comprehensive overhaul of the league’s founding org principles and policies, and how it deals with the public, all the public, they are choosing sides.

    They have become a reactive league and this is what you can expect when your stuff is not together and a negative event throws the league into a frenzy.

    NFL has:
    -Negated Superbowls to some towns unless their citizens give monies to billionaire owners to renovate their stadiums,
    -proposed to regulate speech or penalize employees,
    -(is) Bullying states to tilt their legislative process one way or another’
    -It has practically disenfranchised one team (the AZ Cardinals),
    -botched up the Redskins name debate,
    -has chosen to engage is social engineering instead of developing comprehensive internal policies based on principals of law.

    This is not to advocate states act one way or another, but the NFL it appears, is making policies as it goes along by sticking finger in mouth to see how the wind blows.

    What will they do if a Chaz Bono type individual decides to challenge the NFL for consideration to a roster spot when the law sees him as a man even though Chaz is forever biologically female.

  39. Our country is a constitutional republic.

    That means that the majority can not take away the rights of a minority.

    It is ALREADY acceptable to refuse service to anyone. There does NOT need to be an unconstitutional law about it!

    The NFL has every right, and reason to refuse to allow the Super Bowl to be played in Arizona, EXACTLY the same way as ANY business owner can refuse to serve ANYONE!

  40. taintedsaints2009 says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:51 PM
    Businesses can refuse service to whoever they want and the government cannot do anything about it. That is called liberty. If you’re affected by the business ban of whatever it is, go somewhere else. If you think it’s mean, go somewhere else. That is the business owners property. Not the governments. Not yours. If they say you can’t come in, then too bad, you can’t go in. I don’t care how discriminatory it is. Go somewhere else. The free market will put them out of business due to poor service to the community and poor reputation. Let the free market sort it all out.
    What does any of that rant do with taking the Super Bowl out of AZ? Refuse whoever you want AZ, but, you don’t get to host the SB. Done and done.

  41. Super Bowl XLIX was originally planned for Kansas City if the city would have passed the “Rolling Roof” in the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium in honor of Lamar Hunt.

    Since they had the Super Bowl in a cold weather city like New York, why not a bring it to Arrowhead??

  42. I have nothing aginst gay/lesbian couples. Do what you wish….just keep it to yourself. That said, I do not advocate the lifestyle.
    It seems to me as though the NFL is ruling from a “Bully Pulpit”
    If you dont agree with them….then you are punished.
    Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong!!!!!
    Why is it that gays/lesbians want to make such a big deal out of seemingly everything?
    Its a big deal when someone comes out….its a big deal when a person/persons diagrees with their lifestyle.
    Wow….I just dont get it….gays/lesbians and the NFL are entitled to their opinion, but seemingly no one else is.

  43. New Orleans or Miami are really the only feasible destinations for this scenario.

    Both have the experience and resources to make the event happen on the fly.

  44. If the NFL is serious considering this, then why don’t they move the Cardinals out of Arizona? Why don’t they cancel all their games? Why don’t they black out NFL programming from broadcasts there? I mean, isn’t that what they would do if they REALLY cared? Oh no, that would cost them millions of dollars. Moving the Super Bowl means they still make money and AZ loses money. But cancelling games and broadcasts means the NFL loses money and that won’ t happen. They aren’t THAT broken up about the law.

    Who does the NFL think they are anyway? Why should a business owner be forced to do business with someone engaging in something that to him is wrong? The NFL is taking a big chance that people of religion all across the world, while tolerant of gays, are intolerant of organizations like the NFL that think they can BULLY people of religion into adopting the NFL’s stance and abandoning their own principals (you like that little play on words?) That’s right. BULLY! And where was the NFL when AZ was passing laws about immigration issues? Oh yeah, that’s right, to take action then required giving up dollars. NOT gonna happen.

    Honestly, the NFL gets more and more bizarre every day, and they are about to lose me….and I’m just the average guy. I find when you lose me, a middle of the road college educated middle aged male, you lose a large slice of Americana. This is not me being anti gay. I’m just recognizing and exposing the hollowness and hypocrisy of this idea, should what you are saying come to fruition. Gays aren’t the only people that can be bullied.

  45. The NFL should get it’s own house in order before it passes judgement and makes demands on others.

  46. The NFL should tread lightly into this…
    Going to be pretty hard to fill all of the Arenas with 2% of the population.

  47. taintedsaints2009 says:
    “Businesses can refuse service to whoever they want and the government cannot do anything about it. ”

    You are absolutely, factually wrong. It is a federal crime in the United States for a business to discriminate against customers based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It has been for 50 years; ever since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    “If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.” No. We didn’t like it. And we didn’t leave. We rose up and CHANGED it. That’s the American way.

  48. Am I the only one here who, based on this report, doesn’t understand what the big deal is? The NFL did not threaten to move the Super Bowl, just declined to comment on the issue beyond the basic “we don’t support discrimination” stock soundbite, which based on everyone’s reaction is probably the smart move no matter what they’re actual intentions may be.

  49. So does this mean all Cardinal home games will have to be played outside Arizona state lines?

    I mean, they can’t have a Super Bowl, but can they have home games? How does that work?

  50. Melbourne Australia. Totally neutral venue. 100000 seating capacity. Time zones mean it would be played in daylight for night time broadcast in USA. Hotels available – city hosts Formula 1 Grand Prix.

    NFL needs to promote the NFL outside of America better.

  51. Didn’t they have the same issue about recognizing MLK Day a few years ago? They changed their stance to keep the SB.

  52. floriosbigtoe says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:40 PM
    Every Super Bowl should be played in Las Vegas.

    YES….I’ve been saying that for year’s now!!!
    It’s the perfect place:)

  53. This just in. Igloo construction in Green Bay and the surrounding area will begin in earnest December 1, 2014. An addition to the cities one night club is planned and plans for additional drive through lanes at local fast food joints is being discussed now. Lambeau, put it on the list.

  54. This probably won’t be allowed stay posted here, but I’ll try anyway (so much for freedom of expression).

    Just as it is ridiculous for the government to pressure the NFL into doing what it wants, it is just as ridiculous for the NFL to try to force a government (in this case, the state of Arizona) to do what the NFL wants it to do.

    For starters, most media outlets reporting on this law are either not doing a comprehensive report on the entire law, or are deliberately attempting to misinform the public.

    This law is designed to protect business owners from being forced to violate their religious beliefs. When an business owner takes this stance, he is deliberately cutting his prospective market area (decreasing his opportunities for new business), and helping his competition. However, he should have the right to do that if he’s willing to pay the price.

    While I’m not one to lecture others about my personal beliefs on the Bible and sin, I also don’t want to be lectured to by others about their beliefs, and why they’re right and why they believe I’m wrong.

    As for this case, the NFL needs to butt out, and mind their own business. If you don’t want government meddling in your affairs, quit meddling in government affairs.

  55. Arizona just got a lesson in the “free market”.

    The NFL is well within its rights to make a business decision.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  56. Lol @ Az. They are the only state that doesn’t believe in the day light savings change too

  57. The Arizona bill (and similar bills in other states) is NOT anti-gay. That is spin from liberals and gay rights activists. It IS pro-freedom. Government at any level (local, state or Federal) must not be allowed to force their views on any citizen, regardless of how well-meaning those views may be. Doing so makes a mockery of the First Amendment.

    This issue also shows that liberals don’t understand basic economics. If they did, they’d understand that while a tiny fraction of business owners might turn away customers of whom they don’t approve, smart and successful businessmen only care about one thing – the color of a customer’s $$$.

  58. Just the fact that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has waited this long and STILL not vetoed this “no-chance” bill only goes to show what an opportunistic bigot this idiot is.
    Obviously, she’s still weighing her “options” on a topic that would take any normal person with an actual conscience about two seconds…

  59. >Didn’t they have the same issue about recognizing MLK Day a few years ago? They changed their stance to keep the SB.

    Back in the 90s, the NFL moved Super Bowl XXVII out of Arizona and relocated it to Pasadena over the state’s refusal to recognize MLK Day. Arizona eventually righted itself, but Super Bowl XXVII was nevertheless played in Pasadena.

  60. bryans49ers says:
    Feb 26, 2014 9:24 AM
    Until the NFL starts paying taxes, they don’t really have a place or an opinion in any type of political arena.


    The individual NFL teams pay taxes. What you probably meant to say was “until churches starts paying taxes, they don’t really have a place or an opinion in any type of political arena.”

  61. This is certainly an interesting development. I’m not sure if the governor will veto the bill outright but she very well may try to attempt to protect herself from any criticism from the right and simply refuse to sign it. However if she declines to sign it then the bill will automatically become law after five days. But with regards to the topic of this article there is a precedent for something like this. In 1993 the NFL moved the Super Bowl from Arizona to Los Angeles when the Arizona state legislature refused to pass a bill recognizing the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

    Also, (and this might be more similar to the current issue) in the early 1960s New Orleans was set to host the AFL All-Star game in Tulane Stadium. However, due to segregation laws, all African-American players would have been refused service at all hotels, restaurants, and even taxis. As a result the AFL moved the game to Houston. It has been said that this delayed New Orleans being granted an NFL franchise for several years.

  62. How is this unprecedented? The same thing happened to AZ when they wouldn’t recognize MLK Day.

  63. Im getting sick of the goverment, the media and now the NFL trying to force America to accept their agenda. It may be time to start boycotting the NFL.

  64. Unbelievable – the number of ‘people’ who insist the NFL is overstepping in this situation. As if the NFL, a corporation, shouldn’t have the right+duty+responsibility to ensure it isn’t contributing to the promotion of regressive, cro-magnon political policies. These Arizona businesses would be given the right to determine their customers based on a presumption of sexuality? And, that would be okay? But, the NFL shouldn’t have the right to determine to whom it gives its business?

    Someone above actually complained that these politics were getting in the way of his “entertainment.” Christ. Principles are kinda more important. Evidence of that: this isn’t even ‘my fight.’ And, yet, as a rabid football fan, I’d rather see the Super Bowl CANCELED than have it in Arizona. This country’s evolution is far too slow, and the Primitives and their roadblocks need to be shown that there are repercussions.

  65. Unfortunately, it’s not shocking to see that even a sports site is painting this issue to be something it absolutely is not. They shout “discrimination against gays” and the sheeple come running to protest, albeit mostly with good intentions. But read the bill, everyone, please. It’s simply about preventing further discrimination against Christian business owners as several have lost their family livelihoods recently because activists have sought out their businesses to try to force them to take part in their gay wedding ceremonies when they had plenty of pro-gay providers from which to choose. But still, this bill does NOT allow businesses to discriminate against any people, it only protects people from providing services and products which are against their faith (i.e.- gay “wedding” photography and cakes). Arizona, good on you for standing up against the bullying of these activists. NFL, take a stand against it too rather than just bending to the Humanist rants of the clueless media.

  66. This is textbook bullying: Do what I tell you to do or you will be punished. Veto this bill or you will be punished by us removing the SB. How is that not blatant bullying. It is the equivalent of “give me your lunch money or I will punch you in the face.”

    No one has the right to tell anyone else what to do. I have read the bill (hint: it isn’t long) and it doesn’t prevent gays from doing business in these establishments, it protects businesses from lawsuits on religious grounds. Feel free not to shop in those places, but they have the right to refuse service, plain and simple. Whether you agree with it or not, it is not supporting discrimination.

    The NFL is overstepping it’s bounds here.

  67. The NFL getting involved in this has me rethinking my loyalty to the NFL… I don’t want them telling me what is right or what is wrong, who I should vote for what I should support.

    If you, The NFL, have gotten so big that you believe you have the duty to interact and engage in politics and political decisions (and to be clear this is political and is not about prejudism), if the NFL is that big and powerful, then the NFL has lost its identity and purpose, namely: Professional Football…

  68. You know what, I read it again and did some research. It is an extension of an already existing Arizona law signed in 1999. That law is a state law that is an extension of a federal law that was signed into law in 1993 by Clinton. There was a ruling in 96 that said that the federal didn’t apply to states and they had to do their own, which many did.

    Everyone is getting their panties in a bunch of over something that is at its origin a federal law that has been around for 21 years. It had broad bipartisan support. This extension actually makes it harder for a business to use religious grounds as a means to discriminate.

    Do most of you even know what the hell you are fighting over?

  69. “Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” the NFL said in a statement issued to Albert Breer” –
    Contradiction since you are forcing religious people to go against their faith and forcing people to agree to your views.

  70. Talk about the NFL wants to not do business with Arizona, but the NFL feels they that religious business shouldn’t have that same right to choose who they do business with.

  71. Move the Super Bowl to a city that does support gay marriage…San Francisco! If you can have it in New York you could certainly have it in San Francisco that time of year. Teach them Arizonaites what’s up about gay marriage, eh?

  72. They should let EVERY team have a crack at hosting a Superbowl! Like the All Star Baseball game! It rotates to a different City every year! Of course there are some cities that will be excluded due to infrastructure or other tangibles, but I would love to see it every City!! Small stadiums will be left out, but they would be left out anyway. So come on man!! LETS DO THIS THING!!

  73. Moving the Superbowl isn’t unprecedented, it got moved out of Arizona in the 80s because of their racist governor and legislature.

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