NY Super Bowl: New York Jets

19 Days: Super Bowl tailgating lives!

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
TailgatingAP Photo/Julie JacobsonThese Broncos fans may feel right at home on Super Sunday in Secaucus.
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 19 days until the Super Bowl.

George Tarmy has helped find parking spots for Super Bowl ticketholders in the past, but he knew that New York and New Jersey would offer a unique challenge to anyone who wanted to drive to the game.

With only 12,000 parking spots available at MetLife Stadium -- no tailgating -- and roughly 80,000 tickets, there’s an opportunity for anyone looking to provide a more convenient ride than the NFL’s Fan Express buses, or more of a game-day experience by allowing people to grill.

Tarmy’s company, ParkWhiz, has made arrangements with strategically-placed lots in Manhattan and New Jersey -- one is near the PATH train and NJ Transit hubs -- so that fans can park for less money than they’d have to pay at MetLife.

Two of the ParkWhiz lots, all of which can be pre-booked through a website or app, even offer tailgating -- which Tarmy defined as being able to pull out a grill and not having to eat in your car or in the confines of your parking spot.

ParkWhiz isn’t the only entity trying to provide a better game-day experience for Super Bowl-goers. Yesterday East Rutherford and Secaucus announced plans for parties on the day leading up to the game, featuring food and conviviality.

As The New York Times notes, these towns haven’t been granted the NFL’s benediction, so they aren’t permitted to use the term Super Bowl. Hence, Secaucus will host the “Secaucus Winter Blast” and East Rutherford’s is called the “Meadowlands Tailgate Party 2014.”

Getting revelers to the game is crucial for any pre-game party. Out-of-towners from, say, Denver may not be familiar with mass transit. Some private establishments have bus passes to deliver patrons to the stadium, but for others cars, buses and trains are going to be the only way to go.

As we get closer to game day, no doubt more enterprising local communities will be looking for a way they can reap the benefits of the ... er ... Big Game.

Money for nothing: We had a recent post on the NFL’s inflated economic-benefits numbers after talking to sports economist Andrew Zimbalist. Here, Neil deMause goes deeper into how the NFL calculates $600 million in economic impact for the region, and how that methodology may be flawed.

Security rundown: The Super Bowl Host Committee and law-enforcement officials will be having a press conference on Super Bowl security issues on Wednesday. We addressed some of those issues after a conversation with NFL VP of events Frank Supovitz.

Queens for a day?: EA Sports and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, is hosting an exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of Madden NFL. For information on the exhibit, which opened on Jan. 9 and will run through Feb. 23, and how to get there, click here.

Football meets fashion: On Wednesday at 5 p.m., Bloomingdales will unveil a set of football helmets designed by the fashion industry’s heavyweights like Nicole Miller, Diane Von Furstenberg and Kenneth Cole. Get an early look at the objets d’art here. It may seem like an odd combination, but the designers have a lot of fun with the rigidity of the helmet. Some add flowers, beading, a Mohawk. It’s more of a challenge than it seems and plays with the inherent masculinity of the sport.

Got a Super tip? Contact me at jane.mcmanus@espn.com or on Twitter @janesports.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

29 Days: Q&A with Woody Johnson

January, 4, 2014
Jan 4
Woody JohnsonMario Tama/Getty ImagesIt it wasn't for the weather, Woody Johnson believes every Super Bowl would be at MetLife Stadium.
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 29 days until the Super Bowl.

ESPN New York is conducting Q&As with each member of the host committee. Next up: committee co-chair and Jets owner Woody Johnson.

Q: You have worked on a lot of big-scale projects; what’s the personal appeal of these big-scale projects?

A: The big-scale project that I was most interested in was building a stadium for the team. Realizing the stadium we had, our existing stadium in New Jersey, was at the end of its life span and we would have to replace it in a reasonable time period to be a modern stadium, and do the things technology-wise and infrastructure-wise that one has to provide in a place like New York, I thought. So now we have a stadium with the Giants.

Q: Is the Super Bowl another large-scale project?

A: The Super Bowl is just a logical extension of the stadium. It’s a perfect stadium for a Super Bowl in that it’s large, great press, great clubs, great seating, great parking lot, and the media and the financial capital of the world. So other than the weather it would be here probably every time. New York-New Jersey has a population and interest and sponsors that dwarf any other part of the country. But it’s the weather, and that was something that I think the owners, on their own, decided was not that relevant to this trial of Super Bowl 48.

What will be the biggest benefit to New York?

A: I think having a Super Bowl in any area is a tremendous accomplishment and a sign that the town, in a way, is worthy of hosting a Super Bowl. You [need to] have enough development and enough hotels and access and transportation and all that to do it, so I think that’s a compliment to the area.

You can argue about what the financial ramifications are but I suspect that having a Super Bowl, which will be the largest event ever held in New York I would take a guess at, is going to be beneficial to the hotels and cab drivers and Broadway and everyone else when you have that many people coming in prepared to have fun.

Q: With some of the logistical differences this year, how will fans react?

A: I think they’re going to love it. It’s no different than any other Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is not run by the teams, it’s run by the NFL. There are tremendous operating practices that have worked well in all other cities. And really the way we’re operating this thing is no different than the way it was operated before. We’re going to have tailgating, it’s just not going to be as [spread out] ... and the fans will expect that, they’re not going to expect to bring out lawn chairs and all that in the parking lot at the Super Bowl with such limited parking. But they can open their trunk and still have fun with their friends right around there but they can only do it in the confines of their space, unlike regular games where they can spread out a little more.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

40 Days: Some Super holiday gifts

December, 24, 2013
SopranosCourtesy of HBOHappy holidays from your friends at ESPNNewYork.com -- and may all your open-face turkey sandwiches be as delicious as they appeared in the photo on the menu.
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 40 days until the Super Bowl.

With Christmas upon us, we have a bag full of gifts for local football types and members of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee.

To CEO Al Kelly: A personal weatherman, and a hundred stories showcasing the Greatest City on Earth (and the sliver of New Jersey across the river).

To ticketholders for Super Bowl 48: Mufflers, wool socks, a flask of bourbon (plastic, because it's likely to be confiscated by heavy security), pocket-warmers, battery-powered electric blankets and warm and friendly neighbors.

To Tom Coughlin: Two Lombardi trophies on loan from the Giants trophy case, so that he can watch the Super Bowl in good company.

To Gov. Chris Christie: Flunkies who will not randomly close access roads to the George Washington Bridge. Again.

To the New York Giants and New York Jets: Motivation. Don’t get mad that two other teams will play for the championship on your field -- get even.

To business owners near MetLife Stadium: Since fans won’t be able to walk to the Super Bowl, your gift is a free shuttle bus that will take fans from your establishment to a train station a few miles away, so that they can then ride the train to MetLife. (If they are really lucky, this loop will only take ticketholders an additional three hours to complete!)

To New Jersey residents: A lack of confusion from out-of-towners about whether or not The Sopranos was a documentary.

To Rex Ryan: Job security. He’s earned it.

To Super Bowl visitors: That local hotels and restaurants realize that, to reference Seinfeld, it’s easy to take the reservation, but the important part is to keep the reservation.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

42 Days: Global warming strikes back

December, 22, 2013
Rex RyanAP Photo/Bill KostrounRex Ryan and the Jets sweated it out before Sunday's home finale.
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 42 days until the Super Bowl.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The high temperature was expected to be 71 degrees on Sunday, as MetLife Stadium hosted the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns in the second-to-last NFL home game of the regular season. You might as well throw any long-range Super Bowl forecasts out the window when winter conditions can fluctuate this extremely.

Last weekend the MetLife Stadium crew had to remove 6.3 inches of snow before the crowds arrived for the New York Giants' game. Today, they might want to hand out umbrellas and those little hand-held fans. By Wednesday the temperature isn’t expected to climb out of the 20s according to one report.

Eager to show it can cope with the worst, the Super Bowl host committee held a "let it snow" press conference the other day to discuss plans to deal with extreme conditions for the Feb. 2 game. But, as Sunday proves, keeping up with swings in the weather can be a sport in itself.

From around the web:

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman writes in an MMQB blog that he thinks the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl is a huge mistake. Not sure if that’s a fineable offense yet, but Sherman’s team actually has a chance to get there.

• Brian Heyman of The Journal News gives us a profile of host committee CEO Al Kelly and the challenges he faces as the Super Bowl approaches.

• The host committee enlisted Michael Strahan to talk to fans about dressing for winter weather. Warning: this information is not applicable today.

• Last but not least, the New York Post has an item on an angry wife who allegedly ratted out her husband's $600,000 Super Bowl pool on Staten Island. Happy holidays, everyone!

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

43 Days: It's Super Map!

December, 21, 2013
NJTransit.comOn their web site, NJ Transit says, "Getting to any destination in the region will be a snap."
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 43 days until the Super Bowl.

Although the Super Bowl host committee wasn’t able to create a Super Pass to all of New York and New Jersey’s transit systems, it was able to make a Super Map.

The MTA and NJ Transit created this one just in time for the Super Bowl 48 tourists, and there’s even a little football over MetLife Stadium, which will host the game on Feb. 2.

The organizers of the Super Bowl have called this the public transportation Super Bowl all along -- estimating that between 70 and 80 percent of the 80,000 fans will get to the game via train or bus -- and now they have the map to prove it.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

44 Days: Could SBNY generate ... $0?

December, 20, 2013
Nickel Under MicroscopeAP Photo/Kristoffer TripplaarAs the Big Apple gets set for the Super Bowl ... every nickel counts!
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 44 days until the Super Bowl.

The organizers say Super Bowl 48 should bring between $500 and $600 million to the New York and New Jersey region. That number is based on the amount of economic activity they expect to be generated as a result of people coming to the area to attend the game and the festivities preceding it.

But is that number real?

Economist Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College said the NFL generally posits $500 million when promoting the game to an area, but he and his fellow economists have never found hard evidence that it’s close to accurate.

“The conclusions usually move the decimal point to the left,” Zimbalist said. "Somewhere between $0 and $50 million."

That's quite a discrepancy.

[+] EnlargeMetlife
AP Photo/Peter MorganWhat could be more fun than hanging out in East Rutherford in February?
Zimbalist said some of the economic activity generated by the game doesn’t create new tourism, but it replaces the visitors who would come to the city otherwise. When that’s a warm-weather city, Super Bowl visitors might replace the beach-goers, sailors and foodies that head to places like Miami or Arizona during the winter months.

Even though the Super Bowl has generated some activity in the past, it may not in New York.

“There’s always the hope that surrounding businesses are going to benefit, but East Rutherford is a desert,” Zimbalist said.

On the day of the game, the only event that will be held at MetLife Stadium, ticket holders will not be able to walk to the game, cutting down the opportunity for fans to patronize an East Rutherford spot on the way in. Instead, fans must take a special $51 “Fan Express” bus, New Jersey Transit train to MetLife or have one of 12,000 parking passes ($150) for the game.

The Super Bowl may bring additional costs to the region as well. The New Jersey Department of Transportation plans to go to emergency staffing levels on Super Bowl Sunday, and additional train schedules are being implemented for Super Bowl weekend. Additional police or security needed for the game will have to be paid for by someone, and Zimbalist said the public generally absorbs those costs.

As for the game itself, there are financial reasons the game could be held outdoors in a cold-weather city for the first time ever. It could be a reward for the Giants and Jets for building a stadium with private funds in a metropolitan area.

Plenty of cities offer cash and tax incentives to teams in order for them to build stadiums, but not in New York and New Jersey. There are simply too many teams and corporate headquarters in the area for the city to give away money.

Although teams have been able to bring train stations or other improvements in public infrastructure in conjunction with a new stadium, the actual building is generally paid for with private funds. The Jets and Giants paid $1.5 billion to build MetLife Stadium.

A month after the doors opened, they were rewarded with a Super Bowl.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

46 Days: Let it snow!

December, 18, 2013
MetLife StadiumJane McManus/ESPNNewYork.com Meadowlands Matterhorn: An impressive pile of snow nearly blotted out the view of MetLife Stadium on Wednesday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The officials organizing Super Bowl XLVIII are starting to sound like they are actively rooting for snow on game day.

“I think watching NFL football in the snow is really romantic,” NFL senior vice president of events Frank Supovitz said on Wednesday, standing near a mountain of New Jersey snow in the MetLife Stadium parking lot. “It’s great, it’s exciting and if you’ve ever done it you know that. It’s also a rite of passage for you as a fan to have done it at least once. And this is a Super Bowl right? So I think it’s going to be amazing. I think it would be better if it snowed a little bit during the game. I think it’ll just make it more memorable.”

Jane McManus/ESPNNewYork.comA snow-melting machine: Tougher than the storm?
Is this a little reverse psychology? Actually, snow might make for better television viewing. Recent cold-weather games were watched and enjoyed by plenty of NFL fans over the last few weeks.

But the Super Bowl is a different animal. Empty stands at the championship game are not a good look, so moving 80,000 people to and from the game is a necessity no matter what the weather. At Wednesday's press conference, the New York/New Jersey host committee demonstrated some impressive plows and snow-melting machines with what was left of the weekend snow.

Maybe this was a warning from the Great and Powerful to any snow clouds in the area: Mess with the Super Bowl, and we will obliterate you.

47 Days: The cold truth for NY/NJ fans

December, 17, 2013
FansNick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty ImagesThis season has not been the best of times for Jets and Giants fans.
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 47 days until the Super Bowl.

As the first light of day filtered through snow clouds parked over the New York-New Jersey area Tuesday morning, it marked the first day that both the New York Jets and the New York Giants were officially eliminated from contention to play in the first local Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants have been out for weeks, but the Jets were technically alive until the Ravens defeated the Lions on Monday night.

So it's now official: the NFL will import the two teams who will play on Feb. 2, continuing the streak of never having a home team advance to host the game in a Super Bowl city.

Here’s what you need to know about the Super Bowl today:

WEATHER REPORT: The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee is holding a press conference on Wednesday to discuss plans for the game in the event of bad weather. It may be worth noting that they will do this a day after schools around the region closed for a snow day.

So far, host committee CEO Al Kelly and co-chairs Woody Johnson and Steve Tisch have taken the cold weather as a given, and noted that football has been played in the cold for as long as oblong, inflated animal skin-covered objects have been tossed through the air.

It’s the 80,000 spectators that are more of an issue. Keep in mind that the Super Bowl is a much more expensive ticket, one often bestowed upon a class of folks who aren’t season-ticket holders, and these folks may not be used to sitting outside in sub-freezing weather for five hours.

DEFINING TAILGATING: After we wrote about the constraints that will be placed on tailgating, a few NFL spokespeople disagreed with our assessment that the pre-game tradition would be effectively nixed. I spoke to some fans who attend games at MetLife Stadium on a regular basis to see how they read it. The prevailing sentiment was expressed by Erik Manassy, a huge Jets fan, who said that if you can’t grill and gather, it’s not tailgating.

The rules this year will stipulate that all food must be eaten in your car or within the parking space your car is assigned, and you can’t block the roadway. No grills or other open-flame cooking equipment will be allowed.

These parking passes will be pretty valuable. The parking spaces for fans will be cut from 28,000 for regular-season NFL games to just over 12,000 for the Super Bowl.

TICKET PRICES: As of Tuesday morning, StubHub.com lists 1,272 tickets for the game, with prices starting at $3,172. All tickets aren’t yet in the marketplace, however, since a certain number of tickets are reserved for season-ticket holders of the two teams that will ultimately make it to the game. Some people speculate that there could be a huge amount of fluctuation in price for available tickets in the week leading up to the game, and that cold weather could mean prices drop and patient local football fans could find a few bargains.

Not yet, however, unless you operate in a tax bracket where $3,000 is chump change.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

81 Days: No more tears for Woody

November, 13, 2013
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 81 days to the Super Bowl.

NEW YORK -- Woody Johnson stood behind a table covered in winter coats at the Bowery Mission on Manhattan on Tuesday. Alongside New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Johnson handed out new and gently-used coats to homeless men who live at the shelter.

Later, Johnson passed by a man in the hall whose eyes lit up when he saw the New York Jets owner.

“I’m a Jet fan!” he said as he vigorously shook Johnson’s hand. “I cry with you every year!”

Johnson smiled and told him, “We don’t want to cry any more.”

The Jets are in a playoff conversation at 5-4, having come off a pivotal win over the New Orleans Saints before a bye week. This Sunday the team heads to Buffalo.

Both Johnson and New York Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch have been peppered with questions and comments about their teams as they fulfill Super Bowl host committee obligations in these months leading up to the Feb. 2 game.

Sometimes it’s touching, and sometimes comical. Clearly, though, fans on both sides of the Hudson are passionate about their teams, and owning an NFL franchise is a lot different from owning a widget business.

New York Cares and Jersey Cares invited members of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee to help kick off the annual coat drive, and the committee is a partner this year in the effort. It’s the 25th year that the organizations have collected coats to distribute to people in need, and Kelly said he wanted to see if they could distribute more coats than ever this year. The New York and New Jersey groups say they have passed out two million coats in the past 25 years.

Coats are being collected at participating schools, fire departments and police stations.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

88 Days: All good at Taste of the Jets

November, 6, 2013
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 88 days to the Super Bowl.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Wayne Kostroski is in his element. The man who is the founder of the Taste of the NFL charity dinner series walks between the food stations, chatting up a chef or saying hello to a restaurant owner and old friend. He’s enjoying the party, but he’s also planning for the biggest party of the year on Super Bowl eve in Brooklyn.

“Do you know we’re adding a boat?” he asks.

More about that later.

Despite the Great Lakes inflection in his speech, Kostroski is like the mayor at this Soho loft space off a cobblestoned street where the Jets have set up their Taste of The Jets event on a Monday night in November. Fans pay up to $475 a ticket and get a chance to mingle with two dozen or so New York Jets, as well as general manager John Idzik and owner Woody Johnson.

Jane McManus / ESPN New YorkGeno Smith had a blast at the Taste of the Jets fashion show.
The chefs set up the tables and donate the food -- shrimp ceviche or savory bites of gnocchi served with disposable wood-based sporks, and the proceeds from ticket sales go toward a Jets foundation.

I asked Michael Stewart, who owns Tavern on Jane and brought beef on a polenta disc smothered in a barbeque-tinted sauce, what’s in it for the chefs?

“It’s not about me,” Stewart said, “It’s about people who need.”

The money goes toward local food pantries, which was the initial inspiration behind Kostroski’s Taste of the NFL; chefs and athletes coming together to combat hunger. And there’s no shortage of enthusiasm when it comes to donating time and food to the event itself.

“I get upset if I don’t get invited,” said Harlan Social chef Stephen Lewandowski. He said his participation each year connects him with new customers for his Stanford, Conn., restaurant.

The event partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue, and custom suits were tailored for Jets from cornerbacks to lineman, who shifted uncomfortably in the snug dress pants. Each took a turn modeling his suit on a catwalk in front of the room. Nick Mangold, an event co-host, didn’t realize modeling would be part of his job.

“That wasn’t the first thought when I was drafted,” Mangold said. “But after a couple of these events it starts to flow a little bit more.”

Even focused rookie Geno Smith let down his guard, smiling on stage and chatting with a line of fans that snaked from his seat at the Tao food station. Smith said his mother was involved with local food charities when he was younger, and that will be part of the mission of a foundation that he is starting.

“To be here at an event such as this is remarkable,” Smith said, “to be able donate these proceeds to food banks and just allow kids who may be in need to have meals is very important."

“It’s a fun thing to come to,” former Jet Freeman McNeil said, “but when everyone walks away you have the satisfaction of knowing that someone isn’t going to go to bed hungry one night because of the money that’s donated.”

Kostroski and McNeil are old friends thanks for the wide receiver’s participation in the national event, held every year the night before the Super Bowl. The Taste of the NFL donates up to $1 million to local food shelters in NFL cities. Normally McNeil is paired with chef Shin Tsujimura from the famed Japanese eatery Nobu -- a coveted spot.

Each of the 32 NFL teams picks a chef and a player to represent them. Last year in New Orleans, the Saints of course chose Tony McPhail of Commander’s Palace, who prepared gilled Louisiana crawfish with Hennessy cognac-flamed winter mushrooms, creole cream cheese gnocchi, double truffles and spicy crawfish boil cream.

Hungry yet?

Thu upcoming pre-Super Bowl party on the Brooklyn waterfront, the 23rd annual, had capacity for 3,000 people until Kostroski added the boat -- a large VIP yacht that will create an additional dining space for guests with a few more food stations. Tickets start at $700.

The NFL allows Kostroski to use the league name and shield for the event. “It’s a huge platform,” Kostroski said,

It’s also a role that he clearly relishes despite the logistical challenges of space, food and then distributing funds to various organizations.

A book about the Taste of the NFL shows Kostroski photographed with players and chefs, as well as celebrities such as Ringo Starr, Jeff Bridges and former president Ronald Reagan.

The Midwesterner will be in New York a number of times before Feb. 1 to prepare for his night; on Nov. 15, another Taste event will be held at the New York Athletic Club.

After Monday night on Mercer St., Kostroski might have a few recruits for his other events. Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson was enthusiastic after his first experience with guacamole.

“I play defensive line,” he explained, “so food is always going to taste good to me.”

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

89 Days: $3,250? That's the ticket!

November, 5, 2013
Super Bowl XLVII tickets  AP Photo/Gerald HerbertThe street value of Super Bowl tickets may ultimately depend on the weather.
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 89 days to the Super Bowl.

If you have to ask how much a Super Bowl ticket is, you probably can’t afford it.

The NFL has raised prices for the championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and tickets will start -- start -- at $800. Earlier this year, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told reporters the price increase was in response to all the money that’s gone to resellers in recent years.

"We are looking to close the gap between the face value of the ticket and its true value as reflected on the secondary market," McCarthy said.

There are already 960 tickets for sale on StubHub, one of the biggest secondary marketplaces for sporting events. Those tickets are starting at $3,250.

“Last year's average price for the Super Bowl was $2,500, the NFL changing their pricing structure/raising prices won't make a difference for this game,” wrote StubHub spokesperson Shannon Barbara via email.

The NFL has set general admission ticket prices at $800, $1,000, $1,200, and $1,500 this year for a Super Bowl that will be held outdoors on Feb. 2. That luxurious price-tag may yield a seat that is anything but, depending on the weather. MetLife Stadium also has club-level seating that offers indoor space from which to watch the game.

“The upcoming Super Bowl will definitely be unique, a different beast than others before,” Barbara said. “Obviously the outdoor aspect is a factor, and the massive size of the market.”

There is some speculation that the marketplace could fluctuate in the week leading up to the game, if buyers rethink sitting through a Nor’easter in February and try to recoup value online. In that scenario, ticket prices could drop and hit a level that middle-class NFL fans might be able to afford.

“The weather will make a difference as the game gets closer, snow/freezing temps could cause prices to fall,” Barbara wrote, “but in short -- we're likely to see one of the biggest Super Bowls in history, solely based on location.”

Don’t have the money for a Super Bowl ticket at face value? Well, there is a fan lottery to get a ticket that will cost a comparatively discounted $500. The number of lottery tickets was doubled to 1,000 this year, the NFL said, but the deadline for entries was June 1. Oops.

It's not like you can buy tickets at the box office, anyway. The league, along with the New York Jets, New York Giants and the two teams who ultimately reach the Super Bowl, will be able to offer a limited number of seats, which are likely to be funneled to sponsors and season-ticketholders.

MetLife holds 83,000 fans for regular-season NFL games, a number that could decrease given the space required for security, media and entertainment. Even so, Barbara said that the New York area has traditionally been the No. 3 market for Super Bowl tickets, even during years when the Giants weren’t playing.

“This year, fans will be able to drive from multiple states, not have to pay for hotels, flights, etc.,” Barbara wrote.

Sounds like a bargain.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

90 Days: Aiming for a Super legacy

November, 4, 2013
Courtesy NY/NJ Super Bowl Host CommitteeJets owner Woody Johnson with Super Bowl host committee CEO Al Kelly at a Snowflake Youth Foundation event.
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 90 days to the Super Bowl.

PERTH AMBOY, N.J. -- The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee didn't want it's legacy to end at the final whistle of Super Bowl XLVIII.

It wanted to leave a lasting impression on the metropolitan area, something that would better the lives of youth in the area longer after a champion is crowned on Feb. 2, 2014.

Enter the Snowflake Youth Foundation, part of the committee's legacy project.

"The Super Bowl is only a week really culminating with the Sunday game," New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said. "But how we are remembered in the community is something we tried to achieve with this."

The Snowflake Youth Foundation is a charity created in 2012 by the host committee that helps renovate and transform after-school facilities for youth in the area. It's based out of MetLife Stadium, and its board of trustees includes Johnson and host committee President Al Kelly.

Kelly said each Super Bowl host committee attempts to undertake a legacy effort, and this year's committee decided it would focus its efforts on school-aged children. The name for the foundation came about from combining a winter element, due to the game's location, and the youth being served.

"Getting kids in the early part of their lives and getting the right habits and exercise and good teaching was what we wanted to focus on," Johnson said.

Kelly said that most legacy efforts involve one singular project, but he made sure to tell the NFL after being hired that one effort couldn't possibly work for this year's Super Bowl. With the game being played in New Jersey, and combining the New York elements, Kelly and the committee agreed they needed to undertake different projects that would have an effect across the states.

On Oct. 10, the Snowflake Youth Foundation announced a series of projects it will undertake in the Big Apple on the backing of a grant of more than $1 million from the NFL Foundation and host committee. These include new playgrounds, football fields and gyms throughout the five boroughs.

On Oct. 29, similar projects were announced for New Jersey, once again from a grant of more than $1 million from the NFL Foundation and NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee. Friday, at a press conference in Perth Amboy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation granted $1.5 million to be distributed by the Snowflake Youth Foundation to help nine places affected by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.

Kelly said the committee has already raised approximately between $4-$4.5 million, and the goal is to raise more than $5 million. He believes $5 million would be a record for a host committee.

"That would probably allow us to do some 30-35 projects across the region which would be fantastic," Kelly said.

One of the recipients of the foundation's grant money is the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development in Perth Amboy. Friday, it showed off its new Ready-Set-Play room. Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the foundation, within three weeks the multi-purpose room went from being virtually unusable due to damage from Hurricane Sandy to a functioning, colorful play area for younger children.

It's those kind of lasting effects that the Snowflake Youth Foundation is aiming for in the 90 days leading up to the Super Bowl.

"One of the great things about a Super Bowl is you can do all of the things you maybe couldn't do otherwise. This Super Bowl is extraordinary and gives us the opportunity to raise a lot of money because we're at the focus of attention," Johnson said. I'm privileged to be a part of it. I love what we're doing here. It's very important.

"Looking at these kids, I know it's going to have a great outcome."

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

94 Days: A super Sunday in Queens

October, 31, 2013

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 94 days to the Super Bowl.

NEW YORK -- Last Sunday afternoon, as the New York Giants fought to continue pursuing their dreams, Carlos Santos lived out his own.

Looking into the future, the 9-year-old aspiring receiver envisioned playing before a sold-out Super Bowl crowd, hearing fans chant, "Car-los, Car-los," as he reeled in a touchdown pass en route to earning a chance to grip the Lombardi Trophy.

“Oh yeah, I want that,” Santos said of the sterling silver prize, which he'd seen just moments before at the Queens County Farm Museum, one of 48 stops the "Join The Huddle Tour" will make in both New Jersey and New York in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII.

The first-ever mobile tour associated with a Super Bowl features a 14,000-pound, 64-by-8-foot “Huddle Shuttle,” which also showcased New York Jets and New York Giants lockers outfitted with replica uniforms, shoes and helmets, a Vince Lombardi trophy room and a simulated broadcast booth.

After enjoying the shuttle experience, Santos and his fellow dreamers, dressed for Halloween, tackled NFL combine-centric competitions scattered across a field. Stations were set up for agility training, virtual-reality challenges in which participants role-played as referees and running backs, and a five-yard field-goal kick -- his favorite.

“This is for the Super Bowl!” the field-goal kick's referee reminded the kickers.

The ref may have iced some of the rookies.

But despite any misses, the opportunity to practice like pros was a hit.

“I was in dreamland,” Santos said with a smile.

The tour makes its next stop at Wagner College on Saturday from 10:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., before the Seahawks host the Central Connecticut Blue Devils.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

96 Days: Failure not an option for Christie

October, 29, 2013
Chris ChristieAP Photo/Joe EpsteinChristie is keeping a close eye on Super Bowl preparations.
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 96 days to the Super Bowl.

MOONACHIE, N.J. -- Don’t mess with Chris Christie’s Super Bowl.

There is an edge to the New Jersey governor's sense of humor, but it’s hard to imagine there also wasn’t an undercurrent of seriousness in a story Christie told Tuesday about the grim fate awaiting those who allow for any electrical disruption on Feb. 2, when the region is hosting the first outdoor cold-weather Super Bowl.

To prepare, Christie attended the most recent Super Bowl in New Orleans with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

“At the last Super Bowl you’ll remember that there was a small glitch in the game?” Christie said. “When the lights went out? And the lights were out for a while as you’ll recall, and so I was with the commissioner, and it’s an awkward time. We were there in the dark and he’s on his BlackBerry trying to figure out what’s going on. Finally he turns to me and he said to me, ‘You know, Gov, when we come to New Jersey next year, the lights aren’t going to go out, are they?’

“And I said, ‘Listen, Roger, I can’t guarantee the lights aren’t going to go out,’ I said, ‘But if they do, there will be bodies strewn in the parking lot for the people who are responsible for the lights going out, because that’s the way we handle matters in New Jersey.’”

Christie told the story to an audience gathered at a church in Moonachie for an event to commemorate the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, attended by Goodell, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Al Kelly.

The NFL Foundation and the committee have jointly donated $1 million to a series of projects to help New Jersey recover from the storm.

“That story is absolutely true,” Goodell said. “He was standing right here when the lights went out, right next to me. And I think he stepped out and he made a phone call to the head of the public utilities here and made sure that’s not going to happen this year.”

Christie and Goodell got big laughs from the crowd, but Kelly confirmed afterward that Gov. Christie was dead serious about preventing another blackout.

“The reality is that ever since we came back from New Orleans, power has moved up the list of things we’re paying attention to,” Kelly said. “And we’ve got a lot of experts in helping us, we’re doing reviews of equipment, we’re building in redundancy, we’re doing lots of testing, we’re trying to beef up security.”

In 2010, the lights went out in MetLife Stadium, then known as the New Meadowlands, during a game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, and the lights stayed out as the power system rebooted. There will be a briefing on the specific upgrades to the system as the Super Bowl approaches, but Kelly said the reason for that blackout has been addressed.

“When things go wrong it’s important not only that you fix it but you learn from it,” Kelly said.

In the New York region, which experienced the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has seen several more plots foiled in the years since, disruptions like that can evoke larger fears.

“I think that’s why certainly a big part of the security plan now is to make sure that our sources related to power are secure as well,” Kelly said. “And try to make sure anyone who wants to cause trouble on any aspect of the game, including power, isn’t able to do it.”

Kelly and Christie can’t do much to assure ticket-holders of sunshine on Feb. 2, but ensuring the reliability and security of the power grid is something that they can address.

And if not, now we know how they handle matters in New Jersey.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.