Can Philadelphia Extend Brotherly Love to Host a Super Bowl?
Remember when there was so much negative reaction to the possibility of a “cold weather Super Bowl”? Remember how a foot of snow was dropped on the Philadelphia and New Jersey region causing the National Football League to panic?
Yeah, how did that work out?
Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey — yes, New Jersey, not New York — was a success despite all of the fear and worry about the Super Bowl being a repeat of the “Snow Bowl” in Philadelphia on December 8th. (When you look at pictures like this of Calvin Johnson in the Snow Bowl, though, how can you not be excited about this happening in a Super Bowl.) Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reported that several cities have rushed to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office to make their bids to host a Super Bowl in a way that rivals crowds at the Apple Store waiting for the new iPhone.
Philadelphia, of course, was one of those cities. When New Jersey was awarded the Super Bowl, you can just picture owner Jeffrey Lurie’s ears perking up like a dog when you shake the bag of food. Lurie’s camp has said all along that Lincoln Financial Field is a world-class facility for world-class events like the Super Bowl or even the World Cup in 2022.
Naturally, Philadelphia wasn’t the only city to rush to Goodell’s office to bid for a Super Bowl. Daniel Snyder is pitching for Washington. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for Chicago, and Robert Kraft says why not bring it to New England. Temperatures were balmy during Super Bowl weekend for all of these potential sites — 54° in Philadelphia, 62° in Landover, MD and 51° in Foxboro, MA).
“So, Adio, does this mean you’re pushing for Philadelphia and other ‘cold weather cities’ to host Super Bowls?”
Yes and no. Yes, I do believe that every city with an NFL team — and Los Angeles should they ever get a new stadium off the ground — should have the chance to host a Super Bowl. There are restrictions. The stadium in the city has to be relatively new. There’s a reason why the Super Bowl hasn’t been held at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego since 2003. The stadium is a dump, now. Any team that has built a new stadium or has undergone significant upgrades should put their name in the hat. This certainly applies to Gillette Stadium, Soldier Field and FedEx Field (provided they do something about that grass).
It certainly applies to 11-year-old Lincoln Financial Field in the heart of South Philadelphia, and there are definitely benefits. The stadium sits in a perfect position off a major highway (I-95), and public transportation to and from the stadium to hotels downtown is easy, accessible and quick. The entertainment venue around Lincoln Financial Field — xFinity Live — can be a little stale after a while, but depending on what year Philadelphia would host, there’d be plenty of time to build up the area.
Here’s the thing about Philadelphia (and Chicago and Washington, for that matter) as opposed to New York/New Jersey. New Jersey/New York can offer the bright lights of … New York City. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of Philadelphia. I bleed green for the Eagles and red, white and blue for the city where this country was essentially founded. Philadelphia doesn’t have the “firepower” that New York City does. New York has Broadway. New York has celebrities. Philadelphia would be a great place to host a Super Bowl, but I don’t think it would ever happen as a result of it just not having the kind of star “umph” you need to pull it off.
Not to mention what some are probably already thinking of. Do you really think the NFL wants to host a Super Bowl in the city that has such a negative stereotype when it comes to our fan base? Granted, most of that comes from sources OUTSIDE the city of Philadelphia (thank you Skip Bayless and most ESPN pundits), but the NFL would certainly take that into account. Now, if the Eagles aren’t in the Super Bowl when it’s played in Philadelphia, you can blame any unruliness on those fan bases. All it would take would be one incident from one moronic Philadelphia citizen to put another black eye on this town. (I seriously want to fire up the DeLorean and go back in time to hunt the snowball thrower down and stop him before he made that fatal mistake back in the 1960s.)
Do I think Philadelphia could host a Super Bowl? Yes. Do I believe in my heart-of-hearts that it will happen? Not at all. The NFL knows they dodged a serious bullet because the temperature was in the 20s the week before the Super Bowl, and Mother Nature dropped six inches of snow on the region yesterday. New Jersey could get another Super Bowl but probably not for another ten years or so. Don’t expect a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, however. The NFL just won’t love our city as much as we do.