Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Friday, February 4, 2011
Goodell OK with cold Super Bowls

By Jeff Dickerson
ESPNChicago.com

DALLAS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is not closing the book on cold-weather cities' hosting future Super Bowls.

Although Dallas is not technically a cold-weather city, the North Texas area is under siege after unusual amounts of ice and snow affected travel and business during Super Bowl week.

With so much at stake in terms of revenue in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, many wonder why the NFL would risk holding the event in a market that could experience severe weather.

"We have, and we are, in the sense that we are going to Indianapolis next year," Goodell said Friday. "But I think I need to emphasize again, this is a storm that's affecting most of our country. There are very few places in the country right now that aren't dealing with the aftereffects of this storm. It's an extraordinarily rare storm, and I think it's something this community has responded well to.

"When we chose to play in climates where this is more likely to happen, they are very capable of dealing with these types of issues. We have been very comfortable playing there. We have played in Detroit, Minnesota, we'll be playing in Indianapolis next year, and I think the people in those communities recognize the preparation that is necessary in that position."

The 2014 Super Bowl is scheduled to be played outdoors at New Meadowlands Stadium in New York. But the factor that gives New York, Indianapolis, Detroit and Dallas an edge over Chicago is their stadiums. All the other venues in question are relatively new and modern, with a seating capacity large enough to meet the NFL's Super Bowl requirements, which Soldier Field lacks. Plus, with the exception of New York, the other stadiums offer fans the opportunity to view the game indoors, away from potentially nasty weather.

Goodell seemed to suggest the host stadium is just as important as the host city or region.

"I think the stadium is a priority that is consistent across all 32 clubs [that vote on Super Bowl locations], because quite frankly, that's our stage," Goodell said. "You're going to be playing and seeing the Super Bowl [this Sunday] from one of the great stadiums in the world [Cowboys Stadium] and I think that will demonstrate the importance of having great facilities for all of our games, including the Super Bowl. The fact it can handle the weather by closing the roof is a benefit in this case."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.