After four rounds of secret balloting today, the NFL owners voted in favor of New Jersey as the home of the 2014 Super Bowl - beating out South Florida & Tampa Bay (which, ironically, is home to the "University of South Florida"). Clearly its not the draw of the Jersey Shore or the Short Hills Mall that peaked the owners interest, rather it was the financial appeal of the New York City market and the opportunity to showcase the $1.6 bil "New Meadowlands Stadium", which is co-owned by the Giants and Jets.
This will mark the first time that the Super Bowl is played outdoors in a cold-weather market, and you can best believe it will be the focus of a serious amount of attention come January of 2014. I get the allure of having the Big Game in the Big Apple, and I understand that football is a sport where the elements are supposed to matter and the players are supposed to be tough as nails and blah blah blah. My problem is that as a die hard 49ers fan, this is pretty much the worst case scenario.
Lets pretend my team (and really there are a dozen teams you could put in the same boat) happens to win the NFC in 2013 - which, if we could get a decent QB - may not be that much of a stretch, we will have to travel clear across country to play in conditions that are likely very foreign from anything we would have experienced playing against NFC West teams or with home field advantage through the playoffs. And, lets assume that the Niners get matched up against the Patriots or the Steelers, or even worse the Jets, and have to play a team that is specifically designed for bad weather, that has significantly more experience and that only has to travel a short distance for the game. This same argument could be made on the other side for someone like Chargers who may have to line up against Eagles or the Giants.
Since the Super Bowl is a one-game championship, it sure seems pretty unfair for teams who don't play in those conditions all year to be potentially punished for having a great season and getting stuck playing in a game that gives the opponent a significant home-field advantage.
I think the ultimate resolution should be to play every Super Bowl in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. There is no "home team" in Los Angeles, and its is the second largest media market, and actually better suited to host the most watched program on television. The Rose Bowl seats 100k people and the weather in mid-February in SoCal is almost always high 60's and sunny - which isn't warm or cold enough to favor any squad. Plus there is tons of historical relevance and pageantry to the stadium to support the memories of Super Bowl's past, while unfettered access to the glitz and glamor that surrounds the more modern versions of the game.
This way the sports fans of LA, who have long been hosed without an NFL team, win - and no fans from any other team will have a gripe about their team getting the shaft in the biggest game of the year.