In making a bid to host the 2014 Super Bowl at New Meadowlands Stadium, the New York Jets and New York Giants are embracing the weather. It will be cold in New Jersey in February, but the teams contend that's not a reason to reject the bid.
"As I look outside we could not have gotten more perfect weather," said New Meadowlands Stadium Company CEO Mark Lamping. "Obviously weather will be a big part of the debate."
Team owners and notable players were at the site on a cold and rainy Wednesday to formally announce the bid. With half of the dismantled Giants Stadium looming next door, Lamping touted the indoor spaces for those who have the good seats in the 82,500-seat arena. The facility would have heated concourses and fans would be given hand warmers.
"One thing we know how to do in New York and New Jersey is deal with snow," Jets owner Woody Johnson said.
"Over the last four or five years of our partnership, we have made I don't know how many decisions and we have agreed on 99 percent of them," Mara said, adding that he gets tired of hearing about the problems they've had working together. The stadium, he said, was a testament to the Jets' and Giants' ownerships' ability to work together.
The bid will arrive at NFL offices Wednesday afternoon, and team owners will vote on May 25 at the NFL owners meeting. Tampa and Miami are the other two potential sites, and both have hosted Super Bowls in the last two years.
"A New York/New Jersey Super Bowl will be unlike any other," Lamping said.
Two of the next three Super Bowls are to be held in relatively new stadiums, in Dallas this season and Indianapolis in 2012. Lamping said that the New Meadowlands' digital scoreboards and the stadium's ability to change its colors, needed to host both Jets and Giants home games, would allow the NFL and Super Bowl teams to brand the building and have a home team feel. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been supportive of the bid.
"Sports fans and especially football fans are not intimidated by weather," said Lamping, who later referenced the many tourists to Rockefeller Center in late fall and winter.
He noted that the AFC and NFC Championship Games can be played in any weather.
"As a player I like the weather, it might just be because I'm an offensive lineman," Mangold said. He added that other players he'd spoken to were excited about the possibility of playing the game in the cold.
Manning recalled winning the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay in 2007 as one of his most memorable playing conditions.
"It gets back to playing football, it's old-school," said Manning.
Lamping said venues across the city and in both states would be used for parties and concerts leading up to the game, including Liberty State Park on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl.
If the bid carried and the Giants were able to get back to the Super Bowl, Manning speculated on a Jets-Giants game in New Jersey.
"That would be a dream come true," Manning said.
Martin agreed that a local Super Bowl would be exciting, but that northeast NFL fans would be well served by having a game of that magnitude here. A reporter pointed out that the Jets and Giants have two votes, which made the owners of both teams smile.
"Score at the bottom of the first, 2-0," Tisch said.