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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Super Bowl's a lock for NYC/NJ

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

IRVING, Texas -- Let's not pretend there's any suspense today regarding the announcement of the 2014 Super Bowl site. As Rich Cimini from ESPNNewYork.com writes, the Giants and Jets are at the goal line, and barring a Leon Lett-like fumble at the spring owners meeting, the league will overwhelmingly vote to hold the game at New Meadowlands Stadium.

The Giants and Jets will have 15 minutes to lobby the other owners for the league's showcase event, but the legwork's already been done. Once the league waived the 50-degree rule for outdoor stadiums, this was pretty much a done deal. I believe South Florida and Tampa are both in the running, but their representatives should save their breath. Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to gravitate toward teams and owners who build $1.6 billion stadiums, which just happens to be the price tag on New Meadowlands Stadium. And if you can pull it off in a tough economy, it seems like your name comes up even quicker.

After the 15-minute presentation Tuesday, Jets owner Woody Johnson and Giants co-owner John Mara will share the stage for five minutes. This is the part of the process I'd really enjoy seeing. The Giants and Jets are strange bedfellows in this bid, but they've put aside their differences and done a nice job. In case you were wondering, here's Cimini's explanation of Tuesday's voting process:
It probably won't happen on the first or second ballot, which both require 75 percent of the vote (24 of the 32 teams) for one of the three candidates, but the feeling around the league is that New York/New Jersey has enough support to win on the third or fourth ballot.

If it goes to a second vote and no city receives a 75 percent majority, the third-place finisher (many believe that will be Miami) is eliminated. If neither of the two finalists garners 75 percent on the third ballot, it goes to a fourth. In that case, a simple majority (17 votes) wins the Super Bowl.

Instead of praying for a warm front in early February, the Giants and Jets have embraced the concept of a cold-weather game. They'll show footage of the Cowboys-Packers Ice Bowl, although I'm told images of frostbitten fingers might be edited out.

The Giants and Jets are also hoping the Super Bowl will help them land a naming-rights deal for the stadium. When I talked to Giants co-owner Steve Tisch in March, he seemed supremely confident a naming-rights deal would be in place before the start of the 2010 season. But it's not like the prospect of hosting a Super Bowl has helped Cowboys owner Jerry Jones find a naming-rights partner.

I personally think a New York/New Jersey Super Bowl will be a fantastic thing for the league. It's not like many of us avoid trips to New York in the winter simply because it's cold. And the millions of folks watching the game across the country wouldn't mind seeing the teams battle the elements.

The league will go through the formality of a vote. But it's pretty obvious the owners have come around on a New York Super Bowl. Too bad we have to wait until 2014 for the game.