NEW YORK – When Roger Goodell stood on stage talking about the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl and the weather, fake snow started falling from above him.
"I told you we were going to embrace the weather," Goodell joked.
It was quite funny, but let's be honest: The NFL likely wouldn't have been guffawing if the weather wasn't as promising for Sunday as it is. The weather forecast, as Goodell pointed out, is very good, at least for an outdoor game in a cold-weather city. The Weather Channel's forecast, which has improved all week, now calls for a high of 49 degrees, a low of 29 degrees, almost no wind and between a 10 and 20 percent chance of rain.
"It looks like it’s going to be a lot warmer than we anticipated," Goodell said as part of his annual press conference on the Friday before the Super Bowl.
The NFL did get pretty lucky this week. The league wouldn't have heard the end of it if there was a blizzard that significantly impacted the game. There was never a real threat of postponement, no matter how often the league decided to discuss its contingency plans (which made Goodell's "announcement" that the game would kick off at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday as scheduled fairly ridiculous), but many people have been waiting anxiously to criticize the league if the weather was terrible for the game. That probably won't happen.
Still, it doesn't necessarily mean another cold-weather outdoor Super Bowl, although Goodell didn't rule it out either.
"We know there’s interest in other communities hosting the Super Bowl," Goodell said. "The ownership will sit back and review that when we’re done."
There hasn't been any indication cities without domed stadiums like Denver, Washington or Philadelphia would ever get a Super Bowl, but more goes into it than the climate. Goodell said that because of the events associated with Super Bowl week that a lot of space is needed including about 30,000 hotel rooms. That eliminates some cities.
Also, there are many cities that are vying for a Super Bowl. Goodell said competition is intense to land the league's premier event.
"There's such a demand for Super Bowls right now," Goodell said. "The cities that are going to get multiple Super Bowls is limited."
But if the NFL never tries another cold-weather city with an open stadium for a Super Bowl, it won't be because the league didn't have a good experience this week, so far at least. Goodell said everything has gone very well in the lead up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
"I think people are feeling the excitement and energy, and that’s a great thing for us," Goodell said.
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