Posted January 24, 2014

Eight in the Box: Cities that should get to host a Super Bowl

Eight in the Box, Super Bowl XLVIII
It gets plenty of attention for its loud and loyal fan base, so why shouldn't Seattle get to host a Super Bowl?

It gets lots of attention for its loud, loyal fan base. Why couldn’t Seattle host a Super Bowl? (John Froschauer/AP)

There have been 15 host cities for the Super Bowl, counting the unique New York setting this year. This is not the first time that a metropolitan area has been handed the keys to the NFL’s day in the sun (or snow or wind or rain) — Los Angeles has hosted multiple times at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the San Francisco Bay Area held Super Bowl XIX at Stanford and Dallas-Fort Worth shared duties at the Cowboys’ home in 2011, for example.

The changes to the NFL’s usual setup, however, may have opened the door for other cities to jump into the Super Bowl-hosting mix in the coming years.

And from the extreme longshots to those with a real chance at the gig, here are some of our favorite choices:

Honorable mention — Honolulu: Logistically and financially, this might be tougher to pull off than an international Super Bowl. But a guy can dream, right?

One of the main problems — ya know, aside from the challenges of getting everyone out to the islands — is that the stadium in Honolulu, which belongs to the University of Hawaii, seats only 50,000. That’s about 19,000 below what the attendance was at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and about 20,000 shy of the league’s stated requirement for a Super Bowl-host stadium.

On the other hand: A high of 75 and a low of 68 for Honolulu on Super Bowl Sunday. You would not hear anyone complain about being required to attend a game here.

PHOTOS: Which cities have hosted the most Super Bowls?

8. Las Vegas: It may not have much more of a chance than a Honolulu Super Bowl, save for the fact that UNLV is hoping to build itself a new stadium soon. The initial plan called for 60,000 seats and a dome — a venue that would put Las Vegas right on the edge of the NFL’s Super Bowl requirements.

Of course, that stadium’s not there yet (UNLV’s current home has a 40K capacity). The NFL also might not want to partner so openly with the gambling industry, despite the league’s clear pull within the sports-betting world. Las Vegas is a carnival for Super Bowl Sunday as it is, meaning one can only imagine the insanity levels should the actual game be played nearby.

7. Austin: OK, so the Super Bowl in Arlington/Dallas was mostly a mess, with an ice storm that caught everyone off-guard, seating issues at the stadium and a very spread-out radius for the events. Does that mean the NFL should never consider heading back to Texas?

Even if the Metroplex is on the Super Bowl blacklist for the time being, there’s another spot capable of pulling off the event. That would be Austin, the state’s capital, which has a 100K-seat stadium and hosts huge get-togethers frequently (i.e. the South by Southwest music festival). The NFL loves taking its big game to New Orleans in part because of the weather and vibrant scene there. Austin would provide a comparable setting 500 miles west of the Big Easy.

That huge stadium might be a draw for the NFL, too, even without one of its teams present.

6. Washington D.C.: Roger Goodell has mentioned in the past that D.C. — and, in particular, Redskins owner Dan Snyder — might be interested in bidding on a future Super Bowl, should New York/New Jersey pull this year’s game off without a major hitch. Would the franchise need a new stadium to garner host duties?

FedEx Field is less than 20 years old, but it’s also a clunky venue about a half-hour drive (in no traffic, which is a mythical proposition in D.C.) outside of the nation’s capital. D.C. also has a February temperature average below that 50-degree wish (the city sits at an average high of 47), with a local population that does not handle inclement weather like snow and ice all that well. No doubt, the folks who live in the D.C.-metro area permanently shudder whenever the notion of Super Bowl traffic comes up.

Still, Washington D.C. also seems like a natural option for a number of reasons, among them being the visual majesty of a Super Bowl week set on the National Mall. Don’t rule this one out.

Baltimore also could get in the mix, either using D.C. as a co-host for the week’s festivities or of its own accord.

ROSENBERG: Like it or not, snow and cold add to intrigue to Super Bowl XLVIII

5. Pittsburgh: Turn just about anywhere right now and you’ll find someone talking about Pittsburgh as an up-and-coming destination — CBS News named it one of the “Best Places to Visit in 2014;” the Chicago Tribune dubbed it “one of our nation’s most underrated cities;” Business Insider named it one of the 15 “Hottest Cities of the Future.”

More noteworthy than all that, in terms of this Super Bowl discussion, is that Pittsburgh brings with it a huge chunk of the NFL’s history and an ownership family in the Rooneys that is among the league’s most influential. If the Rooneys say that they truly want to chase Super Bowl host duties, Roger Goodell will have no choice but to at least listen.

Heinz Field’s sub-70K seating capacity would be an issue, but less so than the February weather — the stadium’s a short walk from where the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers meet, so there is plenty of snow and wind (plus a natural-grass playing surface that’s often one of the worst in the NFL.)

There would be plenty of obstacles should Pittsburgh land the game, and yet it’s hard to count out a city that’s currently riding so much positive momentum.

4. Denver: The home of the AFC champs wants to get in the mix for a Super Bowl, potentially as early as 2018. Team owner Pat Bowlen told the Denver Post in September he thinks his city could pull it off.

“This is a football town,” Bowlen told Mike Klis. “It’s not like it would be very difficult to host it here. You couldn’t have enough tickets.

“They make a lot out of that where you have to worry about the weather. Bull. Every team plays in rain or snow or cold or whatever. I’d love to bring the Super Bowl here.”

It almost goes without saying the threat of a winter storm would loom over this game, but it’s worth pointing out that temperatures hovered near 60 for the AFC title game just last week.

3. Chicago: Granted, this has been a particularly brutal winter, but … well, the Friday forecast for Chicago called for wind chills approaching 30-below followed by up to three inches of snow. All the weather worries regarding this season’s Super Bowl would be kicked up to an extreme measure with a move to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Soldier Field also seats just 62,000, 8,000 shy of the NFL’s desired size, and it has minimal room to expand that number should a Super Bowl be played there.

The argument for Chicago would be similar to the argument for New York: It’s an iconic city with a long football history and more than enough entertainment options to last through Super Bowl week.

2. Seattle: The Seahawks already have begun a push to host the Super Bowl. There’s no question the fervent local fans would embrace such an opportunity. Some of Seattle’s hopes may rest with how the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl runs, but the weather in the Emerald City is less of a potentially major problem — Seattle has a February average high of 50 degrees, which is right at the NFL’s cutoff for an outdoor venue. (This year’s event is an exception.)

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported last August that there are 12,750 hotel rooms in downtown Seattle and just shy of 35,000 in King County, where the Seahawks’ stadium sits. The NFL requires a Super Bowl host city to have 25,000 hotel rooms within an hour of the stadium, so while Seattle’s numbers aren’t ideal, they may not be a deal-breaker, either.

The league consistently has rewarded cities that have built new stadiums with Super Bowls — Detroit, San Francisco, Indianapolis. Seattle has one of the NFL’s prettiest venues and one of its most loyal fan bases.

NEWCOMB: What makes Seattle’s CenturyLink Field the NFL’s most raucous stadium?

1. London: Argue if you must about a London Super Bowl violating the sanctity of an American sport, but of all the spots on our list this might be the most likely future host. Roger Goodell has expanded the league’s footprint overseas by taking multiple regular-season games per season to Wembley Stadium. He’s talked openly about possibly placing a team in London eventually. Wembley seats approximately 90,000, and the city obviously could handle a massive event.

Again, we’d have to talk about the weather: cold and rainy, particularly in February, when average temperatures sit around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Wembley does come with a retractable roof, but it does not cover the entire field, so its effects on the temperature would be minimal at best.

That said, the NFL is constantly seeking its next spectacle. A Super Bowl across the pond would qualify.

121 comments
Springdiggity
Springdiggity

I really think Indy was the best Super Bowl host I've seen in quite sometime. They really did it right and the stadium is in a perfect location in the city and off the highway.

katsex
katsex

indy had the best ever.  i went 2 miami twice being colts fan & it was nothing like the indy bowl.  they had over 100 free concerts like lmfao.  it was 65 degrees-of course that was not normal.  they had a zipline that was so big that peeps waited n line since mdnt. 2 do it @ 8 am.  even the players wanted 2 do it.  there were qiosks of places 2 send your pic online.  there was a lift on open container law 4 2 wks. there were shuttles so u didn't drink & drive.   it was so well organized.  i live n ca but am from indy & volunteer 4 the indy 500 & i was very proud & impressed & the media was 2!  indy knows how 2 celebrate any event! there was even race cars all over indy representing every fb team-no other sb has done that.  usually only the 2 teams n it r recognized.  there was stuff every day 4 2 wks. all over town-so cool!


dupricitous
dupricitous

As a resident of Seattle, albeit a new one, I am reasonably confident in saying that this city could not handle hosting a Super Bowl.

x72
x72

G R E E N B A Y

rdorff555
rdorff555

These choices are mostly ridiculous, including the IDIOTIC choice of this years potential ICE BOWL in E. Rutherford, NJ. Why do they keep listing cities that in the middle of winter just about guarantee rotten weather, including DENVER.  No one suggested:  MIAMI, NEW ORLEANS, PHOENIX, SAN JOSE CALIF. AND OF COURSE, LOS ANGELES. WAKE UP NFL!!

robwitham1
robwitham1

Every Super Bowl at Lambeau Field.  Unless the Packers make it.  Then move it to Soldier Field.

x72
x72

Rome

craigbhill1
craigbhill1

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during Mardi Gras season, which could be the halftime show that would break all the ratings. C'mon down!


JamesShosesesta
JamesShosesesta

I sat in Soldier Field for a game once in November.  That was 35 years ago. Never again. 


January? you gotta be out of your frickin mind. 

JaredHeath
JaredHeath

There is zero chance there will be another "cold" Superbowl....that means you are simply dreaming about a Super Bowl in any of  these places without a dome with 85K+ seats getting built there:

Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit (they won't go back there...the press HATED it), Minnesota, Buffalo, New England, New York, Cleveland, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore


Denver and San Fransisco are a reach.  I don't believe SF could handle the people.


As far as some of your other thoughs...Austin would be a bust.  That stadium might have 100k+ capacity, but it doesn't have a press box with nearly enough capacity, and it doesn't have any luxury suites.  Las Vegas would be a dream locale for them...but once again, that 85k+ seated stadium, with luxury suites, with a large press box isn't going to get built there.  UNLV isn't big enough to support it, and a Super Bowl every 10 years isn't either.

craigslistrr
craigslistrr

wow London I would have never dreamed. Still a cool thought tho.. fish and chips and a pint in the seats.

bfn
bfn

Since when does the University of Hawaii own Aloha Stadium?  The University of Hawaii football team plays at Aloha Stadium, but the Stadium is owned by the State of Hawaii.  It would be cool to see a Super Bowl in Hawaii, but we would need a much larger stadium with luxury boxes, too.

michaelcassidy2@hotmail.com
michaelcassidy2@hotmail.com

Speaking as a Brit - No, No, No to London. We are grateful to the NFL for giving us regular season games over here, but the SB, absolutely not. Besides, its my tradition to watch the SB from 11pm BST until 4am Monday morning. 

JonMoore
JonMoore

Each city that has a NFL team should get to host the superbowl on a rotational basis. So every NFL city gets a superbowl every 32 years.

gooniegoogoo4
gooniegoogoo4

Washington DC will get a SUPER BOWL one day.....you know why because it is very well known that the REDSKINS next stadium (Possibly as early as 2019-2020) will have a retractable roof.


This is one of Snyder's pre-eminent desires......and let's be honest....What Danny wants...he usually somehow arranges to get.

PurpleCity52
PurpleCity52

This list sucks... Allow the SB to be in warm climates and dome stadiums so weather gives no advantages, where every player can play at their best..

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

the SB should be held in every town with an NFL team.  I mean Jacksonville got a Super Bowl for chrissakes!

RobertBurnette
RobertBurnette

love the austin idea. for anyone that's ever visited for sxsw, you'll agree they know how to host big events. and their food/music scene doesn't suck

FrederickJZobelIII
FrederickJZobelIII

As a Broncos fan I have to say the ideal cities for the Super Bowl should include the original teams.... Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, Cleveland.... the cities where the NFL was born in the first place... and yes, I think hosting it in Denver would be good too.  Every NFL city should get a chance to host it.

While we're at it, throw out the media sponsored tickets and let the true fans in... you know... the ones who sit through freezing temperatures for EVERY home game... not just the people with connections.

PhunckyTimes
PhunckyTimes

I'm one of the many Londoners who love American Football, but the idea of a London Super Bowl is frankly idiotic.


Weather - Freezing, and liable to snow

Location - Wembley has next to no parking, how do fans get in and out

Time - The Super Bowl for us starts at 11.35pm. And finishes around 3am. At a stadium with no parking and London transport will be closed. Dont tell me that you would start a Super Bowl at say 9 our time (4pm Eastern, Ipm Pacific)

Tradition - London is the greatest sports hosting city on the planet. Second is Melbourne, Australia. But this is America's game and occasion. We would do it justice, but that is not the point. If for example Arsenal are playing Chelsea earlier that day, what even do you think will command the sports pages???


Thanks for the offer but no. Let Brits who want to see the Super Bowl do what we've always done. Get a flight to the States

ChrisO'Neill
ChrisO'Neill

Boring, London being the No1 spot. Far out i've just spat up my breakfast and ripped up my SI collection, thats a joke, really the poms don't know any sport that the ball is not round in.. Come-on think harder

2001mark
2001mark

Forever boggled my mind why the Rose Bowl hasn't been hosting at least once every 5yrs.  Hello, Los Angeles!?  The NFL could have the city for itself for 2 weeks, with media, & a great game backdrop.


Even if LA does move into a new stadium, the Rose Bowl deserves more SBs.


Honolulu is another one- I play my Madden SBs there :D  What, Hawaii doesn't have media trucks?  Pro Bowl's been fine for decades.  They could do another day game which would be cool.



Willis
Willis

The Super Bowl should be put on a rotation of all NFL cities. That is the only fair way to do it.

JohnLammTX
JohnLammTX

While watching the Rose Bowl this year I started wondering why they don't get considered to be a Super Bowl host anymore. They had 5 between '77 and '93 and on TV at least it still looks like a fantastic venue.

DerekMacko
DerekMacko

I wanna hear people's thoughts on happy valley, the big house, or possibly Madison Wisconsin?


parkbrav
parkbrav

I think Charlotte and Nashville should get consideration before any cities that do not yet host an NFL franchise

RonakShah
RonakShah

I think Nashville would be a great option. They should have gotten it when they opened that stadium in the late 90s. The NFL said it was too cold there which is BS now. The stadium isn't the top of the line digs being built these days but it's right downtown in one of the most fun cities in the world. 

joe6647
joe6647

Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC seats 70,000+ .  It will be 65 for a high this SB Sunday

GregJackson
GregJackson

Seattle makes the most sense out of these cities.  Incredible venue, and the weather really wouldn't be an issue.

joe6647
joe6647

Why not the Georgia Dome.  An indoor stadium in a warm weather location that seats 70,000+

JohnSpray
JohnSpray

Estadio Azteca.  A 100K plus stadium in a hot, accessible city.  Why this was not mentioned strains credibility in this article.  Mexico City is a great venue for sport and I've been to this stadium several. times to watch FIFA matches and was also there in '68 for the Olympics. I really don't get why this city is never mentioned in talk of the future of the N.F.L., while the logistically implausible idea of a London franchise seems on the front burner.  

Boogieman1281
Boogieman1281

@rdorff555  Why should people from these great football cities always be forced to spend thousands of dollars on travel and lodging (added to the ticket price) if they want to see a Super Bowl??  People from Florida, New Orleans and the Southwest get plenty of opportunities to attend a Super Bowl without much travel.  That's why it's good int's in MetLife this year.  Most densely populated part of the country.

craigbhill1
craigbhill1

@JaredHeath NFL policy is never to play a Super in a city that doesn't have a team, which is why they stopped putting it on in LA, so Vegas/Austin/Honolulu/London are out.


Now that the NFL stupidly has opened the bottle and a freezing genie popped out, they are stuck with cold-weather venues till they've exhausted every one. EVEN CHICAGO, GREEN BAY AND BUFFALO..

rainman90
rainman90

@gooniegoogoo4  "What Danny wants...he usually somehow arranges to get."

So he's owned the franchise for more than a decade and has never actually wanted a good team?

JacobJones
JacobJones

@PurpleCity52Personally, I think this is exactly why SBs should be held in cold weather facilities.. Not all the time, but once every 5 years, or so, is fair.. Teams like Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, NE (not presently, but), or even Denver or the NY teams... Teams that have to consider weather conditions when building their team, should have the chance of playing a SB in a potential harsh weather setting, instead of having to go to a dome.. Personally, I think this is only fair..

JacobJones
JacobJones

@FrederickJZobelIIIYeah, Cleveland joined the NFL in 1950, after dominating the AAFC (All-American Football Conference) for 4 seasons.. The Browns actually won the NFL title in their inaugural NFL season..


Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and Chicago are all original NFL cities, though..

craigbhill1
craigbhill1

@PhunckyTimes The NFL's unspeakable wet dream is to play it in Dubai at about 2 am Super Bowl Monday while it's only in the high 80s.

rainman90
rainman90

@2001mark The Rose Bowl doesn't have enough luxury boxes for the NFL's current preferences. The Super Bowl probably isn't coming back to the LA area unless the new stadium ever gets built.

GregJackson
GregJackson

@joe6647 Because the Georgia Dome has hosted a Super Bowl.  This article was about cities that haven't hosted a Super Bowl.

b.smith7845
b.smith7845

@JohnSprayThey also have uncontrolled drug violence, I live near the border and even my friends from Mexico don't go back to Mexico anymore, it is sad.

David15
David15

@JohnSpray The NBA tried to play a game in Mexico City this year and couldn't even get the game started before everything started malfunctioning and the game had to be cancelled.

JohnSpray
JohnSpray

@David15 @JohnSpray Really poor example.  This is the only stadium to ever host two world cup finals and the stars to appear there have included The Three Tenors, Michael Jackson (three sold out shows), Elton John, etc.  Chavez fought there in front of 110k in attendance.  No hooligans in the stands like England and good transit corridors. I've been there about 15 times, the last being in '12 when the U.S. finally won a 'friendly' there.  A spacious, bright and friendly venue.    

JonMoore
JonMoore

@JohnSpray@David15In mexico? They kill their soccer coaches and players for not winning games. Why would anyone want to go play sports down there.


PageyMan
PageyMan

@JohnSpray @David15 "Hooligans in the stands like England"? We brits may have had hooliganism problems in the 80's but that's 30 years in the past. It's definitely become a wrongful misconception towards english sports fans that we are like that. London and the UK has embraced the NFL and the international series games, the sport is continuing to grow over here. And, after the successes of the 2012 Olympics. It's clear London, and it's sports crazy fans, would welcome and be able to host a massive event like the Super Bowl. That being said, I can't see why it should be moved away from the States itself. I can't imagine us english would be pleased in the FA Cup final was played in say New York. The Super Bowl is an American tradition, like the FA Cup is an English one, things like that should be kept that way.

David15
David15

@JohnSpray @David15 A Super Bowl in Mexico City ain't happening. I'd say its more likely in Toronto, London, hell, even Beijing. I don't really care how many soccer matches the place has had. There's no benefit to the NFL.

JohnSpray
JohnSpray

@David15 @JohnSpray Apples and oranges.  An indoor arena a year old with a short in a generator cannot be compared to a proven venue that has seated millions of fans, without a hitch, for some of the most iconic World Cup matches of all time.  Pele?  Maradona?  Give your head a shake.