MIAMI (CBS4) – A year ago at this time, the weather was superb in South Florida as Super Bowl week brought out fans to events all over the area.
Fast forward to this year, and think about what Super Bowl fans are experiencing in Dallas. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, rolling blackouts, cancelled pre-Super Bowl events and you have to wonder if the NFL really wants to stick with having the Super Bowl in cold weather venues.
“This weekend is making our case a little bit more for us as to why the Super Bowl should be in a warm weather state and why it should be in South Florida,” said Rodney Barreto, Chairman of the South Florida Super bowl Host Committee.
But this is the conundrum the NFL has placed itself in. Cities like Dallas, Indianapolis, and New York have spent billions of dollars building lavish stadiums to host the Super Bowl.
The problem is that the Super Bowl is more than just the game. It’s a week’s worth of events, parties, and outdoor activities for the family.
“Not only will you get 80,000 people that fill the stadium, you get an additional 50,000 that come for the parties,” said Barreto.
As fans traveling to Dallas have found out, holding the Super Bowl in an area where cold weather can hit is a major problem.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Dallas wants to join Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, and New Orleans as regular stops for the Super Bowl. This could make things problematic in South Florida as it deals with tight budgets than can’t update Sun Life Stadium or build a new stadium for the Fins.
The NFL has a long memory for weather related problems. There was a huge outcry when rain poured over the 2007 Super Bowl here in Miami and Atlanta suffered a major ice storm before the Super Bowl in 2000 and it hasn’t hosted the big game since then. But areas hoping to host the NFL want the league to have a shorter term memory for these natural occurrences because it means big money.
“Our hotels were full. Our airports were full. Our cabs were full. Our cars were rented. Our restaurants were full, the beaches were booming and the golf courses, well, you had to take a number,” said Barreto.
The Super Bowl will be in Indianapolis next year, in New Orleans in 2013, and then outdoors in the new Meadowlands stadium in 2014.
That leaves South Florida four years to upgrade Sun Life Stadium and bring the Super Bowl back to the area in 2015. South Florida can offer up a week’s worth of 70-80 degree days and plenty of opportunities to make the week something special.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell intimated last year that the Super Bowl won’t come back to South Florida without significant improvements to Sun Life Stadium.
The Dolphins have pitched plans to improve the stadium, but so far the state and local officials are giving a less than positive reaction to the need to improve the stadium.
Dallas has two things working in their favor that almost no other city has: a billion-dollar stadium with a mammoth HDTV, and arguably the most powerful owner in the NFL, Jerry Jones.
South Florida will have to overcome Jones and the NFL to remind them that the Super Bowl is more than just the game and that holding the game in Sun Life Stadium will give the league, fans, and players everything they want.