“I think it’s stupid. If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium. Then you can get one. Other than that I don’t really like the idea.”
These harsh criticisms about next year’s Super Bowl being held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., came from Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco, nicknamed “Jersey Joe” due to his Audubon, N.J. roots.
Next year’s NFL championship game will mark the first one held in an outdoor, cold-weather location. It is debatable whether or not this will deter one the most televised, advertised and sought-after sporting events in the country.
MetLife Stadium, which opened its doors on Apr. 10, 2010, is home to both the New York Giants and New York Jets. Formally known as the New Meadowlands Stadium and once commonly referred to as Giants Stadium, the venue has hosted some of the more balmy NFL contests. The stadium, which is also set to host WrestleMania later this year, can hold up to 82,566 people and features over 200 executive suites.
Despite his poor choice of words, some of Flacco’s concerns can be validated. For instance, the temperature at game-time in East Rutherford during this year’s Super Bowl was already below freezing, and continued to drop into the 20s as the night continued.
This is a viable concern for players, as several aspects of the game are affected by cold weather conditions. This especially applies to quarterbacks who are responsible for making precise passes that can be greatly affected by freezing temperatures chilling their throwing hands. To counteract this, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning wore a protective glove on his throwing hand. However, this practice is not common for most quarterbacks in the league.
Hosting a Super Bowl is a goldmine of revenue for the host city. Local restaurants, hotels and other aspects of the community see profits skyrocket up to two weeks before the game. Local and national news and sports networks feature the city, allowing it to receive publicity that it normally never would. The city’s stadium becomes one of the highlights of the event; every detail is displayed for the entire country to see. The $1.6 billion dollar MetLife Stadium would sparkle on televisions of families across the country, but players such as Flacco view it as a determent to the Super Bowl.
Whether everyone agrees or not, Super Bowl XLVIII will be coming to New Jersey. Only time will tell if the on-field conditions that day will be ideal for a professional football game, but regardless two teams will suit up and compete for the NFL’s greatest achievement – the Vince Lombardi Trophy.