John Mara: Super Bowl should return

Updated: February 3, 2014, 2:10 AM ET
By Ian O'Connor | ESPNNewYork.com

John Mara, the New York Giants co-owner instrumental in bringing Super Bowl XLVIII to MetLife Stadium, said Sunday morning he would like the New York/New Jersey region to host the big game again.

Appearing on ESPN Radio's "The Ian O'Connor Show," Mara was more definitive about the prospect of the Super Bowl returning to Broadway and East Rutherford, N.J., than he was about it landing in other cold-weather markets with outdoor stadiums.

Asked if he wanted a Super Bowl sequel at MetLife, Mara said, "Based on everything that's happened so far, yes. If we can be assured that we'd get the same cooperation from all the different government entities that were involved, which has been tremendous so far, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't consider doing it again.

"I think that when the NFL owners that are here, when they leave MetLife Stadium tonight after this game, I'm pretty confident that most of them will say to themselves that it was a great idea to have this event in this area, New York and New Jersey, and why not come back here again. It's good for the league."

Would staging the Super Bowl in other cities with similar climates and no domes to call their own also be good for the league?

"I think it will open up some people's eyes as to why not at least consider other areas and I think we will do that," Mara said. "But let's face it, there is only one area like this one with the number of attractions and venues and all that New York and New Jersey have to offer. But I certainly think it does open the door a little bit for other venues."

Mara cited the favorable gameday temperatures and the cooperation Super Bowl organizers and Giants and Jets officials received from the two state governments and the city of New York for ensuring "as limited a number of hassles as possible" for the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, and their fans.

[+] EnlargeJohn Mara
Slaven Vlasic/Getty ImagesGiants president John Mara wants the Super Bowl to return to MetLife Stadium.

"The people I've spoken to from both teams said they've had a great week so far," Mara said. "Both teams enjoyed their respective practice facilities that they worked out in; I know Seattle had nothing but compliments for their week at our facility, and that's something you always worry about, too.

"You want to make them as comfortable as possible. You want to give them everything they have at home so there are no competitive issues. It all seems to have come together well. ... We could not be any happier with the way things have worked out so far."

One thing Mara wasn't happy with last week -- other than a 24-hour stomach virus that stopped him from attending a Super Bowl event -- was the filing of a lawsuit against the Giants and Eli Manning. Eric Inselberg, a New Jersey memorabilia collector, charged that the team and the quarterback sold game-worn equipment and jerseys that were not authentic, allegations the Giants and Manning vehemently denied.

"It's a frivolous suit," Mara said, "and unfortunately it's the cost of doing business in this day and age, that people sue you and you have to defend yourselves. And unfortunately the filing of the lawsuit always brings a lot more attention than the ultimate dismissal of the lawsuit.

"We're very confident that this lawsuit will be dismissed, and I just hope that it receives a little bit of attention when it does because it is tough to have to deal with lawsuits like that, particularly this week. ... We're going to vigorously defend ourselves and we're very confident that this will be thrown out of court."

Mara also addressed Saturday night's Hall-of-Fame election of Michael Strahan, among seven former stars who will be inducted in Canton this summer.

"I was thrilled for him," the Giants co-owner said. "He really was one of the great players in our franchise, in our history, and it's just so deserving. The guy was a complete player, played the run as well as the pass. He was a great leader for us. There's no way that we win Super Bowl 42 without Michael's play and leadership."

Ian O'Connor

ESPNNewYork.com columnist
Ian O'Connor has won numerous national awards as a sports columnist and is the author of three books, including the bestseller, "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter." ESPN Radio broadcasts "The Ian O'Connor Show" every Sunday from 7 to 9 a.m. ET. Follow Ian on Twitter »

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