NFL Owners Vote Tuesday For Final Destination Of 48th Super Bowl, To Be Played Feb. 2, 2014
The Super Bowl is coming to the Meadowlands
NFL owners voted Tuesday to make the new Meadowlands Stadium the site of the 2014 championship game, a historical vote that will bring the biggest sporting event in the country to the tri-state for the first time. It also will be the first Super Bowl played outdoors in the cold.
The final decision came after four rounds of voting. The game will be held Feb. 2, 2014.
New York Jets and New York Giants top brass banded together to push for the big game to come to the tri-state and its brand new football stadium in East Rutherford.
"I want to thank the NFL owners for having confidence in our ability to host this game, for having the guts to wanna make some history," said Giants co-owner Tom Mara. "There's only one New York City and we have a stadium that I think is second to none and we're gonna put forth a tremendous Super Bowl for a memorable Super Bowl week and we're very excited about that."
Owners met in Irving, Texas Tuesday to place their votes for the final decision. Teams decided between East Rutherford, Miami, and Tampa. Miami was dropped off the ballot in the second round, leaving owners to decide between the tri-state and Tampa. There was no hiding the fact that New York's two local teams would be overjoyed if the title game was played in their own backyard.
"I'm very excited about this. I was born in New Burnswick, N.J. To be a Jersey boy, so to speak, and to bring something like this, to be involved in bringing something this big to New Jersey and the New York region is a tremendous thing for all the people that live in our area," said Jets owner Woody Johnson.
When ground was broken for the new Meadowlands Stadium in September 2007, a dream was also revealed: the dream of making the billion dollar project the home to a Super Bowl.
"Man, this is the greatest place in the world to have it. It's bigger than Ringling Bros.," said former Giants Super Bowl MVP O.J. Anderson.
The future tenants of the new stadium may be combatants on the field, but in trying to make the historic endeavor a reality, they joined forces 100 percent.
"It's a great tribute that we got from our partners at the NFL the other owners. They're willing to trust us with something that has never been done 47 times before this," Jets owner Woody Johnson told CBS 2.
"I think we offer something very unique, very special. It's never been done before and I know that the players who I've heard from and who I've seen interviewed are excited. I think New Yorkers are very excited and I think it will make for a great Super Bowl," said Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.
And while many claim by being in New York in February, Mother Nature will wreak havoc on the most-watched sporting event in the world, the Jets and Giants aren't bothered by the prospect for a blinding snow storm or bitter cold temperatures. They say that's football the way it's supposed to be played: in the elements.
"I thought everybody liked to play in the snow, am I wrong?" asked Johnson.
Players loved the idea of being part of a historical event in their home territory, and were already calling for a Jets-Giants matchup.
"I think it's gonna be fantastic. I think in 2014 from our standpoint, we'll be the first ever two home teams to play in a Super Bowl. That's my prediction," said Jets center Nick Mangold.
The big game very well may be colder than the Super Bowl's record low of 39 degrees at kickoff. That came at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans in 1972.
CBS 2's Lonnie Quinn said the average high temperature for Feb. 2 is 39 degrees, while the average low is 26 degrees. With kickoff time set for 6:20, Quinn said the average temperature for that time of the day is 37.4 degrees. Of course, he warns, those temperatures don't factor in the wind chill, and the way the wind blows at the Meadowlands, it could feel much colder.
"We hit the weather issue straight on in terms of our presentation. We acknowledge that the weather in Feb. 2014 may not be perfect. But so what? Some of the greatest games in NFL history have been played in inclement weather, but we'll deal with it," said Super Bowl bid co-chairman Jon Tisch.
Stadium CEO Mark Lamping said the comfort of the fans is being taken into consideration inside the state-of-the-art facility. He said organizers plan to distribute hand and feet warmers, blankets, and perhaps even self-warming seat cushions.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined hundreds of Giants and Jets fans in Times Square where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's announcement was broadcast live on the jumbotron. Bloomberg celebrated with the elated fans and unveiled a new historical street sign named after the city's first Super Bowl.
"We are going to rename 48th Street something that really the world will remember. We're changing the name of 48th Street to 'Super Bowl 48th Way,'" he said.
New Yorkers, tourists, and what seemed like the whole world, really, reacted to the historic news with cheers and hugs when the announcement was made.
"We are so excited! The biggest game in football on the biggest stage in the world? We're so excited," one Giants fan told CBS 2.
Across the river in New Jersey, where the game will actually be played, football fans at Redd's Restaurant in Carlstadt, Gov. Chris Christie included, said they could hardly wait for Super Bowl 48.
"We needed good news in New Jersey for morale and for the economy. Yes, yes, I'm so happy, yes, yes!" one fan shouted.
Mangold was among those celebrating with Jets and Giants fans alike at Redd's.
"I think the people of New York are gonna embrace it and love it and I think it's gonna be a fantastic thing for the city," he said.
The economic impact for both states will be tremendous, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars to two states dealing with massive budget gaps. Christie vowed to be ready for the big event.
"We will be ready, the state has made the commitment. Whatever happens, this is history making. First cold weather Super Bowl coming to the state of New Jersey," he said.
Restaurants in the area want the Super Bowl here because of the revenue potential, they say, and because it will create more jobs, at least for that week.
All four of Bob Sutton's restaurants are a stone's throw away from the stadium.
"I think it would be great for business. How could you not think having hundreds of thousands of additional visitors wouldn't be? IT would be awesome," said Sutton
Jim Kirkos with the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce estimated the Super Bowl will bring $500 million to the New York Area, and $200 million of that will be spent at hotels and restaurants in North Jersey.
"There are literally thousands of people that travel to the Super Bowl that don't go to the game, but want to experience that and they will experience that from New Jersey where the prices are much less expensive," he said.
CBS 2's Otis Livingston, Rob Morrison, and Christine Sloan contributed to this report.