The focus this week may be on radio row for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, but after Sunday the attention will shift to New York/New Jersey next season. Super Bowl XLVIII will be hosted for the first time in an outdoor cold-weather city. Al Kelly is the CEO of the host committee for the Super Bowl. He speaks on the progress and setup for next year’s Super Sunday in New York/New Jersey. Al Kelly, the CEO of the host committee for the 2014 Super Bowl, joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss his reaction to Joe Flacco believing it’s foolish to host the Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey in, the sponsorship for next year’s Super Bowl being terrific, Super Bowl activities taking place in New Jersey, dealing with the cold-weather scenario of a Super Bowl and more cold-weather NFL cities hosting the Super Bowl in years to come.
What’s your reaction to Joe Flacco thinking it’s stupid for New York/New Jersey to host a Super Bowl next year?
“It’s disappointing. It’s a phenomenal event for New Jersey and all the economic benefit it is going to bring to the state he grew up in. I can’t imagine there is too many NFL players, if they had the opportunity to play, would pass it up because it happens to be a little cold for them.”
How is the selling part of the Super Bowl next year going for you?
“The selling part has been terrific. We have a great group of sponsors who have stepped up. The corporate firms in this area are just so generous. They are so used to supporting things and supporting sports. They really have stepped up and we are in very good shape from a sponsorship standpoint. We still have a little bit to do and we are certainly willing to talk to anybody. We still are in very good shape.”
How much of the Super Bowl activities are going to take place in Manhattan as opposed to New Jersey?
“Well, it’s going to be quite different. Most of the people are going to be walking to the Super Bowl here and I don’t think anyone is walking to the Super Bowl [next year] even if they are staying at the Sheraton right near the stadium. What’s going to end up happening is that the focal point of a Super Bowl tends to be the hospitality end of it and where the teams stay. The two teams are going to stay in New Jersey. The NFC team will practice at the Giants’ facility and the AFC team will practice at the Jets’ facility in Florham Park. The corporate crowd will probably be in New York City, but 35 percent of the tickets of the Super Bowl go to the two participating teams and those people will be true fans who won’t know until two weeks before the night. I expect a lot of those people will end up staying in New Jersey.”
What kind of weather would you prefer for the Super Bowl? Warmer like it is today in New York or the cold playing a factor?
“Well I’d certainly be happy with today’s weather as well. Perfect scenario would be game time it starts at 50 or 48 degrees then maybe we get a little bit of flurries for the element aspect of it, but clearly we are thinking of every possible contingency. I’ve thought about weather more in this last year.”
Do you think this could be a sign of things to come for other cities with outdoor stadiums in cold cities?
“I think clearly cities like Chicago, Washington, Boston and maybe Philly are certainly looking at it. I think they would love to get a Super Bowl. If this goes off well you’ll be assured that those owners and mayors and governors of those areas are going to take a very hard look at it.”