In 1934, the night before the Giants were to play the Chicago Bears for the NFL title, a freezing rain left a sheet of ice on the field at the Polo Grounds. The Giants responded the next day by wearing gym shoes instead of cleats. They defeated the Bears for the championship in a contest famously called “The Sneaker Game.” So, if there is a little bad weather, it will be a test for both teams and will represent a throwback to the pre-Super Bowl era.
“I’m not wishing for a 4-foot blizzard,” Al Kelly, president and CEO of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, told The New York Times, “but a couple of inches of white stuff and a lower temperature would be a great way for the game to be played.”
The game will have a super impact throughout the area. It is a treat for the locally based television networks and advertising agencies who support the NFL with ever-increasing rights fees and produce the expensive commercials. Fox reportedly is charging $4 million for a 30-second TV spot.
While MetLife Stadium will be the center of attention on Feb. 2, in the week leading up to the game, the recent sports building boom will also be on display. Since 2007, six stadiums or arenas have been renovated or built in the greater New York area. In the week before the Super Bowl, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (opened in 2009) will host two outdoor NHL hockey games — the New York Rangers against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 26 and the Rangers against the New York Islanders on Jan. 29. Conversely, an event usually held outdoors in a football stadium — Media Day — will take place indoors at Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center, which opened in 2007 and is the home of the Devils.
The young sports facilities have been attractive to all leagues. Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game last summer graced Citi Field in Queens, the home of the New York Mets that opened in 2009. Next season, the NBA All-Star Game will be played in Madison Square Garden, which underwent a thorough, three-year renovation that was completed this year.
The facilities are first-rate — and ticket prices reflect that. For the Super Bowl, high-end customers will pay $2,600 per ticket for about 9,000 premium seats — more than twice the price of a premium seat at last year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. But Tisch points out that until the recent sports building boom, “New York was woefully underserved in terms of state-of-the-art facilities.” The increased prices simply reflect the economics of the area. “Many corporations, hedge funds, private-equity companies and families that can support the economics of private suites and clubs are in the tri-state region,” he says, referring to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.