Speaking at a fan forum in Baltimore on Sunday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the possibility of the NFL awarding another future Super Bowl to a cold-weather city with an outdoor stadium, as the league did for Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J., several years ago.
“Why can’t a city like Baltimore host the Super Bowl?” a Ravens season ticket holder asked. “We serve crab cakes in January, too.”
“The Super Bowl decision is made, and as the event gets bigger and bigger, it gets harder and harder to host because it’s competitive, the infrastructure keeps growing,” Goodell said at the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium. “The number of hotel rooms now, I think we’re well over 35,000 hotel rooms that are required. The facilities around that for all the different events that come into a Super Bowl have become more complicated. The bar gets raised every year.”
Goodell went on to say that someone recently mentioned to him a possible joint Super Bowl bid in the Baltimore-Washington area.
“Which is an interesting idea, because clearly there’s an infrastructure between the two communities,” Goodell said.
In 2010, NFL owners voted to play the 2014 Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium, the new home of the Giants and Jets. It was the first Super Bowl played outdoors at a cold-weather site and Goodell described that decision as “high risk, high reward.” A snowstorm hit the New York area a few hours after the game ended.
“This was a big debate,” Goodell said. “Do we want the game to be played in perfect conditions? Do you want the elements to impact it? I personally love football in the elements. I think that’s what makes it so special. So, I love that part of it, but I also understand the issue of trying to put an event on where we have probably 150-to-200,000 people attending. It’s really tough to do, and it puts a lot of stress on smaller communities. If you guys want to make a bid, I’m sure the ownership is going to take a good, hard look at it.”
It’s unclear how a potential Baltimore-Washington joint bid would work, but Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has expressed his desire to host a Super Bowl for years. The Washington area was one of four finalists to host the 2008 Super Bowl, which went to Glendale, Ariz., instead.
“I think Washington should get one, no matter what,” Snyder said at the NFL owners’ spring meeting in 2010. “It is the nation’s capital.”
In 2011, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Baltimore would “be in line like everyone else” if the outdoor Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium was a success. The Super Bowl host sites have been awarded through 2022. The Redskins’ lease at FedEx Field runs through 2027.
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