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Thursday, May 31, 2012
Dreamland: A Super Bowl in Chicago?

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune has been covering the NFL and the city of Chicago for a lot longer than me. So first I'll pass along his analysis of commissioner Roger Goodell's suggestion that the door could open to hold a Super Bowl at Soldier Field: "Chances of a having Super Bowl in Chicago are roughly the same as having a Super Bowl on Jupiter."

I applaud mayor Rahm Emanuel for pressing Goodell on this issue during a meeting Thursday. After all, the Super Bowl will be played in New York's cold-weather environment in two years. If New York can have one, why not Chicago?

Well, for a couple reasons. First, the primary reason the Super Bowl will be in New York is to reward the region for building the $1.6 billion Metlife Stadium. I could be wrong, but I've always assumed that to be a unique and singular situation that won't be the start of a trend. Generally speaking, Super Bowls will continue to be played in warm-weather markets or in stadiums with roofs.

Second, Chicago didn't really build a new stadium and thus doesn't have a "reward" coming. Soldier Field was renovated for $365 million in 2003 and has the NFL's smallest seating capacity at 61,500.

Sure, it's always possible that the NFL could make a dramatic shift in its Super Bowl bid process. But that's what it would take for the league's marquee game to end up in Chicago.