If you build it, the Super Bowl will come. That seems to be the message NFL owners have been sending each other in recent years: Go through the expense and aggravation of building a billion-dollar stadium, and you will be rewarded with a lucrative and prestigious Super Bowl game. The last three venues built - in Arizona, Indianapolis and Dallas - either have hosted or will host the big game. The two New York teams are set to unveil a new stadium this year. Later today the league will announce the host city for the 2014 game, and - lo and behold - New York (actually East Rutherford, N.J.) is the frontrunner to be the site. ***Update*** 1:25 p.m.: NY/NJ indeed won the vote today. game will be played in Feb. 2014.
Meanwhile, California has hosted 11 Super Bowls, but none since 2003. San Diego was the site that year. Then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue all but said it would be the city's last until it improved its stadium situation. "I'm surprised that we're here THIS week," Tagliabue said the Friday before the game (perhaps forgetting the whole guest-thanks-the-host etiquette).
In case you haven't noticed, the only thing that's changed vis-à-vis California's football venues is that they've become even more decrepit. Ah, but there is hope. Santa Clara voters head to the polls June 8 to vote on public funding toward a stadium in that city. The NFL Super Bowl Advisory Committee last month gave the stadium initiative a boost by saying that it supports the plan and will encourage a Super Bowl bid. The plan is to have the stadium ready by the 2014 season. A stadium must be fully operational for two full seasons before it can host the big game.
Of California's 11 Super Bowls, 10 have been in Southern California. There is some concern that if a New York Super Bowl ends up being problematic (much of the east coast endured a blizzard in early February this year), it would kill the chances for open-air stadiums that aren't in Florida or SoCal. It shouldn't when it comes to Northern California. The average high temperature in East Rutherford, N.J. in the month of February is 40 degrees. The average low is 24 degrees and the month averages 2.94 inches of precipitation, much of which, given the average high, comes down as snow. Santa Clara's average high that time of year is 63 degrees, the low is 45 degrees and the average rainfall (we don't need to refer to it as "precipitation") is 2.84 inches. The lone Northern California Super Bowl was played at Stanford in 1985. The temperature at kickoff? A football-like 53 degrees.
-- Matt Barrows