6 Days: Committee head declares victory
January, 27, 2014
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com
Each day from now until Feb. 2, ESPNNewYork.com will take you inside the challenge of staging the most unpredictable NFL title game ever. There are six days until the Super Bowl.
NEW YORK -- A congratulatory news conference started off Super Bowl week as Al Kelly, CEO of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee, declared the transportation plans for the game an “unprecedented success,” with two-thirds of all attendees expected to get to MetLife Stadium via mass transit.
“Hopefully when we do all the tallying for the weeks to come,” committee co-chairman Jonathan Tisch said, “the other 30 owners will say to themselves when there’s a chance to do this again, ‘Super Bowl XLVIII in New York and New Jersey was a huge success. Let’s try to do this once every 10 years.’”
There is still almost a full week to get to that point. There are plenty of shuttle rides, train trips and potential snowflakes to fall, but the hopes of a future MetLife Super Bowl -- and likely the hopes of Chicago and other outdoor cold-weather venues -- rest on how smoothly things go this week.
“The Super Bowl award comes down to a vote of 32 owners,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. “If they have a good experience and the game gets a positive review, does it open up the possibility the game could be played in other cold-weather cities? I think it does.”
When the Super Bowl comes to MetLife Stadium on Sunday, it will have gone through upgrades and assessments to withstand any challenges when it comes to power. Last year in New Orleans, the Super Bowl was stopped during a blackout.
“This stadium as it stands today, in the preparations and check-ins and learnings from last year,” NFL executive Eric Grubman said, “the stadium is in excellent position to have uninterrupted power.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, tarred by a scandal involving traffic and retribution, missed Monday's news conference.
“We’ve gotten great cooperation from his administration,” Mara said. “Fortunately, most of the work had already been done by the time that all broke. But even since then we’ve gotten great co-op from them.”
Christie was scheduled to make a related appearance in Newark later in the day.
As for the weather, the forecast looks good enough -- mid-30s without much possible precipitation -- that the host committee didn’t have to talk much about it.
“This whole Super Bowl XLVIII has been about a lot of firsts,” Kelly said.
The committee started by embracing the cold and the outdoors and by asking fans to learn how to use the region’s mass transit system.
Whether that means it’s an unprecedented success, it’s a little too soon to tell.
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