Roger Goodell won't commit to cold

Updated: February 1, 2014, 12:47 AM ET
By Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- Standing beneath a little good-natured artificial snow on Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was lukewarm about the prospects of future Super Bowls being played at open-air stadiums in other cold-weather cities.

Goodell praised the efforts of those in the New York/New Jersey area ahead of this year's game, but despite the interest it will generate in other cold-weather climates where teams play in open-air stadiums, Goodell stopped short of saying Super Bowl XLVIII is the first of more to come.

"Things are going well here in New York because of the people's commitment, they're doing it together," Goodell said. "It takes that, no matter what city you're in.

"These events are very complex, they take a tremendous amount of planning."

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, whose team will face the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium for the Lombardi trophy, has always trumpeted his city as a possible Super Bowl site. The team, as well as the city's Metropolitan Stadium District, made $30 million worth of improvements to Sports Authority Field at Mile High that were completed before the start of this season.

The improvements included an 8,800-square-foot video board atop the south stands to complement other video boards, as well as improvements to the stadium's concourses and audio system.

Denver mayor Michael Hancock, who once made a Super Bowl trip as a high school student when he performed as the Broncos' mascot, was also in New York on Friday and appeared on the "Today" show as well as "The Colbert Report" to extol the virtues of Denver as a Super Bowl site. Hancock, who also appeared on Radio Row, has consistently said he believes Denver has the infrastructure as well as the hotel space to host all of the events that surround the NFL's title game.

Goodell said Friday that a Super Bowl city must have 30,000 available hotel rooms, and that requirement alone would eliminate some interested markets. Officials in Denver who have discussed presenting a Super Bowl bid for a game held in 2018, 2019 or 2020 have said there are 42,000 available rooms combined in the Denver metro area, Castle Rock, Colo., to the south and Boulder, Colo., to the northwest. And the Colorado Convention Center could house all of the events that come with a Super Bowl.

Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when President Barack Obama was nominated for his first term, as well as the Summit of the Eight and World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II. The convention -- over a week in August 2008 at several venues -- brought an estimated 50,000 people to Denver, including 18,000 members of the media, roughly three times the force that's credentialed for the Super Bowl.

[+] EnlargeMetLife Stadium
AP Photo/Julio CortezWorkers shovel snow at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 22.

When asked Friday about other cold-weather cities, and specifically Denver, hosting Super Bowls, Goodell said "making sure we do these things the right way" was the priority.

"As far as other communities, we know there's interest," Goodell said. "We have a very aggressive process in how we select cities."

Temperatures in Denver were in the low 30s Friday with three inches of snow having fallen overnight. The average high temperature in early February is the mid-40s, and the average low is in the upper teens. Occasional winter storms blow through as well.

But the weather is mercurial throughout the winter, as evidenced two weeks ago by a temperature of 63 degrees and a cloudless day for the AFC Championship Game.

"Some days we have better winter days than some people have in spring," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said.

The next three Super Bowls have been awarded -- Arizona to finish out the 2014 season, the San Francisco Bay Area to close out the 2015 season and Houston to close out the 2016 season.

Jeff Legwold

ESPN Denver Broncos reporter

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