Real deal behind Eagles' stadium revamp?

June, 18, 2013
6/18/13
11:45
AM ET
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wasn't joking in March when he mentioned his desire to have the Super Bowl at Lincoln Financial Field. Trust me, I know. I was standing right there, reminded of the same sick feeling I got back in 2010 when I realized they weren't joking about having the Super Bowl in New Jersey.

So I'm kind of kicking myself for not making this connection Zach Berman made about the planned renovations to the Eagles' home stadium:
Lurie first mentioned the possibility in March when he was asked about New Jersey's MetLife Stadium hosting the Super Bowl this season. Lurie noted that if the event proves to be a success, he would push for Philadelphia to host the annual event. An updated stadium will enhance the Eagles' bid.

"That wasn't the intention, but certainly when I'm on the Super Bowl committee, when you're bidding on a Super Bowl, the committee looks very closely at your stadium and your city and what you can host," Lurie said. "Philadelphia would be a great place."

So maybe it's not the intention, but surely it's a potential byproduct that has crossed Lurie's mind. I personally don't think it matters how the weather is for this year's Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J. -- I think places like Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington are going to start to bid for Super Bowls, and if their stadiums are deemed fit to host them they will likely get them. When the NFL announced the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl, they insisted it was a one-time deal and special because of New York. But the NFL says a lot of things that aren't true, and they've made it clear that the stadium is the biggest factor in a city getting the game. That's why they'll end up going back to Dallas, even though the weather there crippled the entire Super Bowl week. That's why they won't go back to Miami, which has hosted 10 Super Bowls and is the perfect place to hold it, until they improve or replace the Dolphins' stadium.

The NFL knows it's risking a huge weather mess by holding the game in a cold-weather location and a stadium without a roof. It just doesn't care. If weather wrecks this next Super Bowl, nothing we know about the NFL indicates that it will step forward and admit it made a mistake. No, it will press on, and if owners like Lurie really, really want to host the Super Bowl and their stadiums are of sufficient caliber to do it, the game will go to those towns. Bank on it.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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