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Super Bowl co-chair wants game back in area again

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January 29, 2014 | Leave Comment

NEW YORK — A team owner who helped bring an outdoor Super Bowl to a cold-weather site wants the game in the New York-New Jersey area every 10 years.

Jonathan Tisch, a co-owner of the New York Giants and co-chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee, said Monday the title game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos is expected to generate $550 million to $600 million for the region. He insists cold-weather sites can handle football’s biggest event.

“This is a legacy that will live beyond the game itself,” Tisch said. “For years to come, young people, men and women will feel this game was important for the region. And hopefully, when we do all the tallying in the weeks to come, the other 30 owners will say to themselves, if there is a chance to do this again, Super Bowl 48 in New York and New Jersey was a huge success. Let’s try to do this once every 10 years.”

Giants co-owner John Mara smiled as soon as Tisch finished his statement at a news conference by the host committee to kick off Super Bowl week.

“Let’s get through this one first before we start talking about that,” Mara said.

Jets owner Woody Johnson believes the ability of the region to handle the game might crack the “ice barrier” for other cold-weather cities to host the game, such as Denver.

“I think football should be played outside,” Johnson said. “That’s where every other game is played. There is no reason a Super Bowl should not be played there as well.”

Host committee chief executive All Kelly ran off a laundry list of accomplishments by the committee. He said about 65,000 people plan to use mass transit to get to Sunday’s game in East Rutherford, N.J., making it the first mass transit Super Bowl. He added that $11 million has been raised to improve after-school facilities in New York and New Jersey, with the Mara, Tisch and Johnson families each giving $1 million.

Since NFL owners approved the bid by the Giants and Jets to host the game in May 2010, Kelly said the host committee’s community outreach program has helped collect 420,000 pints of blood, planted 27,000 trees and collected more than 70,000 coats among its major projects.

Now comes the home stretch. It’s Super Bowl week and there will be events, news conferences, parties and attractions that are expected to bring 400,000 people to the region for a championship that seemingly won’t be played in snow, according to the latest forecasts.

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said the league and host committee have exhausted countless hours and resources to make sure there is not a loss of power at this year’s game. There was a blackout for more than 30 minutes in New Orleans last year because of wrong settings on a power monitoring device.

“This stadium is in exceptional condition to have uninterrupted power,” Grubman said.

Kelly said the end of a journey that started some 1,350 days ago doesn’t mean all the work is done.

“It’s been a grind the last five or six weeks, but a fun grind” Kelly said. “It’s been exhilarating. Our folks have been working seven days a week, 15 hours a day. I don’t get a sense that any of them are tired. Everyone is going on adrenaline. When you work on something like this, it’s like building a house. You get out a punch list at the end and it’s fun to see it come to fruition.”

Tony Shorris, the first deputy mayor of New York City, refused to speculate how much money the city was spending on the Super Bowl, saying he wanted to see a final accounting. However, he said the game has brought visitors to the city at a time when tourism is usually down.

James Hall, the chief of patrol for the New York Police Department, said there will be an extensive police presence on Super Bowl Boulevard, which extends from Times Square to Herald Square on Broadway, as well as aviation units, boat patrols and on the Hudson and East rivers. Canine units will be at all venues.

“We’re confident that this game, in this town, that this week, there will be winners and everyone will go home a winner from New York,” Shorris said.

Kelly noted the advantages of drawing on the shared assets of New York and New Jersey. New York has the hospitality and hotels; New Jersey has the fields and practice facilities for the team.

Mara said former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue floated the idea of a cold-weather Super Bowl more than a decade ago to his father, the late Wellington Mara.

“I think my father would be pretty amazed that we would be able to pull it off,” John Mara said. “Right after 9-11 that was when Mr. Tagliabue started talking about it and I think he got excited about it. Then, for some reason, it died. I think he would be very pleased.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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