Next Up: New Jersey’s Super Bowl.

SB logoThe big game is over. The New Orleans parties (at least ones for the Super Bowl) are history. The TV spots have run (at almost $4 Million a pop), the lights have long since come back, and the NFL season is over…. for now. The Ravens are Super Bowl Champs for the 2nd time. Time to look forward

February 2, 2014.

Super Bowl XLVIII. Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The countdown to next year’s Super Bowl is now under one year and I am really excited. Of course, as we all know, Super Bowl XLVIII (48) will be played in New Jersey, my lifelong state.  And now Met Life, with their naming rights of the stadium that my beloved Giants (and the chaotic Jets) call home, gets the exposure commensurate with its hefty naming rights. This will be the first cold weather/open air Super Bowl. Even if Joe Flacco, Super Bowl MVP and NJ native, thinks playing an open air game/cold weather game is “retarded”, said he, I am sure he would be thrilled to be there. (BTW: Joe how will the weather be for the AFC Championship game 2 weeks earlier?) I think it’s a great idea for many reasons. A big financial one is that there will be more than ½ $ Billion collectively pumped into the economies of New Jersey and New York from the game, a damn good reason to want to have the game here. But there are many more.

The planning has been underway for Super Bowl XLVIII since it was announced in 2010 that Super Bowl XLVIII would be played in New Jersey. Playing the Super Bowl there is a “unique once-only circumstance based on the opportunity to celebrate the new stadium and the greater heritage and history of the NFL in the New York region”, said the NFL.  I love the logo developed by my friends from Source Communications, (with offices in New Jersey, New York and California), a smart group of strategic marketing folk. The logo with the snowflake icon recognizes the outdoor/cold weather nature of the game and celebrates it. Super Bowl XLVIII will have obvious unique issues, but also unique opportunities.

The obvious “issue” is that the game will be played in February in New Jersey. It’s cold and sometimes snowy in February in New Jersey (duh) and the weatherman has no clue what the weather will be next February, or this weekend for that matter. The New York City area weather during this year’s Super Bowl was low in the low 30s with a dusting of snow, which is typical early February NJ/NY weather. I’m hoping for similar weather next year and while the NFL will undoubtedly disagree with me, a cold, snowy Super Bowl would be a blast. OK, I hope it’s not below zero and the snow is 6 inches or less, but how cool would it be for the viewing public to have a snowy field. I realize that the 80,000+ people attending the game might not be thrilled, but the 110Million+ U.S. viewers and many more throughout the world would love it. Yes I know Beyonce would have needed to wear more clothing, but she won’t do a repeat in 2014 anyhow. One thing’s for sure, there won’t be any wardrobe malfunctions in the cold.

Let’s realize that outdoor football games in cold, snowy conditions happen all the time. Haven’t there been conference championships in Green Bay, Massachusetts, and Chicago in January? Sure there have, and the games have been great. Of course those games are NFC/AFC Championship games populated by the home team fans and not the Super Bowl, whose attendees are largely corporate types with a dollop of fans of the participating teams. Spoiler alert for out of town attendees: Pack long underwear, hats and gloves for the Super Bowl.

I do actually hope the two weeks prior to the game, and particularly the week before, are relatively balmy in the New York City area. My hope for the many out-of-towners who come to New Jersey/New York is that they can go outside painlessly and enjoy the mega-party that will be unique to nearby New York City, the center of many of the pre-Super Bowl activities, and the many Northern New Jersey activities planned as well.

My New York bias aside, New York City is the greatest American city with the best (and sometimes the worst) of everything. If you are fortunate enough to be among the out of town attendees, come early, bring your wallet and be prepared to have a good time at lots of NFL activities and everything that makes New York great.

Many events/venues are already locked in, with many more to come:

Super Bowl Boulevard—it’ll be a week-long free festival from 34th to 44th Streets in Manhattan with tons of interactive fan activities and the Lombardi Trophy will be on display

Super Bowl Media Center–This will be at the Sheraton right in Times Square

NFL Offices –No fuss for league. This will be a “home game” for them with the league offices right in Manhattan on Park Avenue.

Media Day—This will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark on January 28. Lest you think it’s a shabby place, The Rolling Stones played there recently

NFL Honors Award Show–The NFL was smart not to induct Michael Strahan into the Hall of Fame this year, but rather wait until next year, and do so at the New York party. Good thinking.

NFL Tailgate Party—The Meadowlands Racetrack is adjacent to Met Life Stadium and Grandstand will host the pre-game tailgate. Cool

Lastly, the AFC Champion will practice at the Jets facilities in Florham Park (no problem as the Jets will undoubtedly have cleared out their lockers in late December). The NFC Champion, meanwhile, will practice in the Giants facility right at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. How convenient for the Giants to (hopefully) practice at home and play a home Super Bowl. How great would that be!

No doubt Super Bowl XLVIII will be an incredibly difficult event to attend. Always a tough ticket regardless of where the game is played, no doubt thousands of New Yorkers will also seek to attend and when you (hopefully) add in the thousands of Giants followers who’ll want to see the NFC Champion Giants (please) win yet another Super Bowl, it’ll be an event to be remembered forever. Early warning: Watch out for counterfeit tickets.

A (little) snow and cool temperatures won’t cool off this forthcoming Super Bowl. It’ll be the hottest one ever. Bring it on.

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