"Excuse me, Mr. Commissioner, but big brother gets to host the Super Bowl this year. Why can't I?"
While I imagine Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pitch to commissioner Roger Goodell went quite differently than that, the question is the same: Can Chicago host the Super Bowl? I also doubt you would find any Chicagoan referring to themselves as New York's kid brother.
The question at the surface is the prospect of holding the Super Bowl in a cold-weather city. There are risks around the game itself, as well as getting the hundreds of thousands of extra people into the city itself. The Super Bowl at Metlife stadium next season will be a test run. If all goes well, should the Windy City be considered for "the Big Game" in the near future?
Do we want the game "marred" by a blizzard? Do we want the teams to compete and rely on nothing but their own talents (not said blizzard)? These are real questions the league has to ask itself. Though, I think "will we make the same money?" the more common question we'll hear the league asking itself. With Chicago as the host, I'm not sure they would make more money. The reason is that Soldier Field only holds 63,500 people. Super Bowl stadiums usually have quite a bit more seating. That being said, I would imagine the percentage of profit the league gets from the seats themselves are a very small percentage of the total profit, so maybe it would work.
I'm a huge Chicago Bears fan, and I would love nothing else more than to see the Super Bowl played there, but the truth of the matter is that the field is a disaster by NFL standards. The Bears would have to overhaul their field to make it a possibility.
I would love to see the Super Bowl played in more iconic places --Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, etc. Given the fantastic cultural city Chicago is, I hope the city (and the league) does everything they can to make this a reality. There are just a few steps to get there.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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