by Katy Funabashi
Super Bowl XLVIII will bring over 82,000 people to the third-largest NFL stadium in America, the MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, Feb. 2.
Perhaps it’s just the Jersey girl in me, but I have an inkling that the 2014 Super Bowl will go down in history, and I am sure New York and New Jersey will be ready to host one of the most-watched programs on television.
New York and New Jersey are co-hosting the 2014 Super Bowl, and it will be the first of its kind to have two host teams, since the New York Giants and New York Jets both play their home games in New Jersey.
An NFL team has never played in, and won, a Super Bowl game in its home stadium.
In fact, the Super Bowl Home Field Curse (rightfully) makes football fans superstitious about the future success of a team after a game is held in its home stadium.
Take the 2013 Super Bowl for example: the Baltimore Ravens stomped the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
The Saints had a 7-9 record because of “Bountygate” that season. A similar thing happened with the Colts in 2011.
It is nearly impossible for the Giants or the Jets to play in the 2014 Super Bowl, but I have to believe in the Super Bowl Curse being a Giants fan.
The odds were against Eli and the Big Blue this season, that’s why they were 0-6 at the start of the season (or that’s how I attempt to defend myself against harassment by you Eagles fans. We have a Super Bowl ring, though…).
Of course, Super Bowl 2014 will be infamous due to the weather.
The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a snowy game, and with the unusual nor’easter that hit New York and New Jersey on 2011’s Halloween, anything is possible.
The Garden State’s February temperatures range between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so fans will be chilly even if there is not any snow. A white Super Bowl would be unforgettable, though.
And snow is all critics ever gab about, since the MetLife Stadium does not have a dome or retractable roof.
With snow as a possibility, the NFL discussed making the 2014 date flexible, in accordance with the weather.
This idea was overruled, keeping up with the Super Bowl Sunday tradition.
The Super Bowl Host Committee is embracing this weather possibility though, even adding a snowflake to the game’s logo.
Hence, anyone coming to this game knows even at this point to layer up and to bring both warm, waterproof gear.
The same cannot be said for other Super Bowls, like 2007’s. The Colts and the Bears battled in Miami, Florida and were met with winds gusting up to 20 MPH and an inch of rain. Fans will be ready, this year, for harsh weather.
If it snows and the Super Bowl Host Committee is able to send plows out and to salt the walkways, everything should go smoothly.
This is a huge test for the Super Bowl Host Committee and hopefully, the teams will be able to play in these conditions.
If not, a cold-weather game will not happen again in the near future.
The MetLife stadium is accustomed to having snow plows on-sight for the Giants and Jets games, starting after Thanksgiving, and the fleet of trucks, clearly, will grow before Feb. 2.
To prepare for a potential Super Bowl in a snow globe, MetLife is already planning on handing out “warm welcome” packages to fans, with earmuffs, tissues, lip balm and hand warmers in them. In the tropics, hotels greet their guests with crisp, cool lemonade.
Marriott hotels plan to welcome guests with steamy hot chocolate. There will be a few “warming stations” outside of the stadium, but for the most part the Super Bowl Host Committee wants its 82,000 fans to spend their game-day time in nearby hotels, stores and restaurants.
In the beginning of the weekend, crowds will be encouraged to visit SuperBowl Boulevard in Manhattan, where there will be live concerts and a 180-foot long, 50-something foot high toboggan sledding track for snow lovers to race down. The victorious team will also parade here on Broadway on Monday.
Of course, throngs of people will descend on the tourist-y spots of New York City on Super Bowl weekend, but the Super Bowl Host Committee is trying to encourage fans to stay local when they can.
Snowy weather might encourage this. Even East Rutherford’s mayor, James Cassella, admitted, “Even though it’s more of a New York-New Jersey thing, it’ll be promoted as a New York game.”
Though New York and New York City will likely attract more fans during the day, New Jersey’s hotels are charging just as much as New York hotels are.
Last February, hotel rooms were being sold at prices ten times the typical amount for Super Bowl weekend.
During February, business is typically slow, so rooms cost anywhere between $90 and $250 at your standard hotel, but on the Super Bowl weekend most are going for around $699 per night.
Or Manhattan is always a possibility… if you’re willing to shell out $2000 for a room.
Last year’s blackout made the 2014 Committee take even more precautions. Ralph LaRossa, president of Public Service Electric & Gas Co., assures MetLife Stadium will be able to quickly resolve a blackout.
The stadium’s generators are ready, and since the 12 minute blackout in the stadium during a Cowboys-Giants game, there have not been any repeats.
The amount of power that will go into the stadium that day will be enough to power 12,000 homes.
Three power sources will share the responsibility of powering the stadium, although one can handle it on its own if the other two malfunction.
The likelihood of another blackout occurring is slim, but with potential wind and snow, anything is possible.
It is no surprise that ticket costs go up every year, just like commercial costs go up.
Tickets costs anywhere between $500 for nosebleed seats and $2,600 for better ones. MetLife Stadium’s 30-person suites are being rented out for $500,000.
Ranked number thirty-five on The Rolling Stones’ “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now,” 28-year-old Bruno Mars is going to rock the potentially snowy stage, which is ironic because he is from Hawaii.
Luckily, Mars should appeal to a wide-audience, with The Rolling Stones also adding, “Anyone from the age of five to 95 can walk out of a Bruno Mars concert feeling like the show was designed just for them.”
So MetLife Stadium is ready. New York and New Jersey hotels, restaurants, and other attractions are ready. Mother Nature and our two teams are the big unknowns at this point.
No matter what, Super Bowl 2014 is destined to be an unparalleled one, with or without Jack Frost.