As South Florida, Tampa, and New York/New Jersey (the Meadowlands) anxiously awaited a decision from the 32 voters at the well-publicized spring meeting in Dallas, the tension could be cut with a knife. Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 was looking for a home, and this election brought up a rare possibility: championship football in the cold.
“We had a common goal to build a beautiful stadium,” Giants executive vice president and leader of the New York/New Jersey bid group Steve Tisch told the NFL Network. “And we had a common goal to get the Super Bowl in 2014.”
This they did. After four rounds of stressful voting and much anticipation, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Meadowlands in New Jersey would receive the big game in 2014, waiving the 50-degree minimum requirement for average temperature in order to bring the game back to the cold. It will be the first Super Bowl ever to be held in the area, a market that has hosted about every championship but the big game.
Each group was given 15 minutes to state their case as to why their site should be the host of the annually most-watched event on television, as the New York/New Jersey bid was the first to go. Their proposal was based around displaying historic moments of the sport that occurred in cold weather, and the potential $550 million that could be brought into both states if the game were to be held there. Both ownerships of the Jets and Giants also promised hand-warmers, seat-warmers, and pits of fire in the parking lot would be available for all fans if necessary.
South Florida, also known as Miami, was the first bid eliminated after two rounds of voting. Though incredibly productive in hosting five Super Bowls (including this past year’s game), many criticized the efficiency of Sun Life Stadium and the issues it brought.
Tampa was the other finalist heading into the majority vote, and seemed to be a dark-horse throughout the fight. Many felt that the venue and surrounding area was much more suitable for the event, but this bid fell just short. It would have been held at Raymond James Stadium, becoming the fifth game to be held in the city.
Around the time of 9/11, a group of supporters had attempted to get the late Giants Stadium to host the big game, but these efforts fell short. Additionally, a Super Bowl had been promised for the planned West Side Stadium that the Jets were to build, but this project was eventually abandoned.
Perhaps Giants treasurer Jonathan Tisch put it best.
“The greatest game in the world will be played on the biggest stage in the world.”
New Jersey, you have your Super Bowl.