It's Okay: The Super Bowl Won't Wither Out In The Cold

Later this afternoon, the NFL will reveal the results of the vote by owners regarding which city will get hosting rights for Super Bowl 48 in 2014. (UPDATE: The New York/New Jersey area was chosen). The overwhelming sentiment is that New York City (or New Jersey, if you want get technical about it) will host the first outdoor Super Bowl played in a "cold weather" city. When it comes to bucking tradition in the biggest sporting event in the country, some are naturally hesitant. ↵

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↵The outdoor part is an important distinction for those critical (such as Sports Illustrated's Peter King) of the New York selection as is the subjective nature of what is considered too cold. Granted, few would argue that conditions in New York are not likely to be balmy, or even that comfortable come February. But to suggest it will be so severe as to damage the cachet of the event is ludicrous. ↵

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↵While no Super Bowl has been played outdoors north of the Mason-Dixon line, that doesn't mean conditions have always been pleasant. Or even warm. Super Bowls 6 and 9, played in New Orleans' outdoor Tulane Stadium, sported respective game-time temperatures of 39 and 46 degrees. Not exactly tropical conditions. Six other times, it's been below 60 degrees, including twice in the last decade. Let's not forget either the downpour that attended Super Bowl 41 in Miami. ↵

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↵The point is, the Super Bowl has not always offered vacation-like conditions, even if it's been held in cities that might make for a nice winter vacation. Of course, that's not even taking into consideration the trips the game has taken to indoor venues in Detroit and Minnesota. Are we to assume it's okay for visitors to freeze the entire week, so long as they enjoy three or so hours of room temperature during the game? While New York might bring the risk of snow or freezing rain during the game itself, it also offers a media blitz that could be grandiose even by the standards of the Super Bowl, something the aforementioned northern cities or Jacksonville could not offer. ↵

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↵Moreover, there's the fear that, by placing the game in New York, the league will have to do the same with every other cold weather franchise. I doubt that's a prospect that worries owners or fans in those markets. Obviously if the league were to do exactly that, it would have to shuffle the game between warm locales for a few years for every time it's in a colder city, but it could be made to work. Every few years, sportswriters would have to endure another week of cold weather when they thought they might get a reprieve, but the Super Bowl would be stronger, and less predictable for it. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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