The NFL has announced that New York (well, technically, New Jersey) will be the site of the 2014 Super Bowl. I think I’m in the minority, but I think that this is terrific.
At least since the Super Bowl has become a main-stream, must-see-TV media extravaganza, it has been limited to either warm-weather cities (Miami and San Diego are frequent and popular sites) or domed stadiums (New Orleans and Detroit being two recent examples). Why is this? My theory is principally one reason: the half time show.
Ever since the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” the half time shows, which have always been big production spectacles (again, in the relevant past; early Super Bowls weren’t quite the affair they are now), have featured aging rockers who are mercifully shuffled back to the Old Rock Star home after their performance to get them in bed before 10pm. Think The Who and Bruce Springsteen. Safe, popular performers, but ones whose prime was in another century.
Heaven forbid we should allow these performers to have to deal with the elements; with a cold, driving wind or (gasp!) six inches of snow. How could you possibly set up the amplifiers in that kind of environment?
But wait a second. Isn’t the purpose of the Super Bowl to determine the NFL champion for that season? Isn’t the Super Bowl itself actually a football game? Football games are played in all kinds of weather. They’re played in sunny, 100 degree days in San Francisco (I know, because I was there). They’re played in blizzards. They’re played in driving rainstorms. They’re played in -5 degrees in Green Bay. Heck, they’re played in hurricanes. So why can’t the Super Bowl be played in the cold? What is so wrong with that?
The fans will be provided with enough SWAG to keep them warm, undoubtedly. The corporate sponsors will be sipping martinis in their climate-controlled luxury suites. The players, well, this is what they signed up for and why they make $40 million guaranteed anyway.
January and February in New York really isn’t that bad. We’re not talking Caribou, Maine or International Falls, Minnesota here. Besides, every year, nary a month before the Super Bowl, NYC hosts the New Year’s celebration with live entertainers, dealing with the same range of weather phenomena that will be possible for the Super Bowl.
Just make contingency plans for your entertainment acts. Ditch the elaborate sets if you have to (although the stage for The Who last Super Bowl was more awesome than their performance, by miles). But I’m looking forward to seeing more cold weather cities hosting outdoor Super Bowls.