The very qualities that make New York City the ideal place to have a Super Bowl near also make East Rutherford, NJ and the surrounding communities, a great surrogate area to have the game. Transportation is abundant. There’s the now expanded commuter train service on New Jersey Transit as far as rail service is concerned, but if you want to walk to the big game things are logistically difficult. Even with the pedestrian bridge that crosses the various highways and byways over into the stadium parking lot area, walking is still not the best idea. Then there are the NJ Transit buses. If a stinking, crowded bus or crowded, stinking subway car are my choices, I'm taking the subway. The express subway trains are just a more efficient way of moving people in a congested area.
There are over 80,000 people expected to go to the Super Bowl, and that’s just the people watching the game. Then there are the 1,300 support staff for the facility. Let’s not forget law enforcement, security, concessions, you name it and the numbers are obviously higher. Stuffing all this in New York City in some imagined Bronx-based game venue would be a logistical nightmare. Shoving 100,000 people in the already notoriously crowded city would be a strain. But the very interstate highways designed to commute New Jersey drivers and commuters into the city on a normal basis makes North Jersey a perfect location for the Super Bowl.
New York City is the biggest media market in the world. It is such a large media market that the potential for record Super Bowl earnings has drowned out the cries of those who did not want a cold weather Super Bowl. But a wise man once said, "money makes the world go round." Forbes magazine reports that Sunday's Super Bowl XVLIII could be the most lucrative sporting event on U.S. soil since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA. Other statistics found within the article tell the economic story in greater detail.
The NFL estimates the economic blast radius that will encompass New York/New Jersey in the wake of Super Bowl XVLIII will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to $600 million. There could be a 20 percent increase over the total revenues earned at Super Bowl XLVII just last year.
A cold weather Super Bowl brings the potential for higher television ratings due to more fans staying home. Also, commercial advertisements on TV aren’t the only way companies will get their products in the faces of potential buyers. Though there has been some back and forth between New York and New Jersey as to which state can truly claim the Super Bowl as their own, the Big Apple has a huge advantage as host of Super Bowl-based activities over its neighbor across the Hudson River because of localized foot traffic.
New York City was recently voted by Good Housekeeping magazine as being the most pedestrian friendly city in the United States, beating out San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
In cities with a lot of pedestrian traffic it becomes far more cost effective to place products and advertisements in areas where people can see them. Another factor is entertainment. People are coming to the area to watch the Super Bowl, but many will be partying before and after the game. Nothing against New Orleans, or any of the prior cities that hosted the Super Bowl, but a recent report in U.S. News and World Report puts New York City as the 3rd best city for nightlife in the United States behind only Miami Beach, FLA and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Temperatures will be around 36 degrees come Super Bowl Sunday, but New Yorker’s will still come out in droves to frequent events at the many Super Bowl endorsed venues that saturate the landscape of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. The top-ranked New York City Transit Authority will help shuffle all of that human biomass around to the Super Bowl Boulevard in Time Square and to any other Super Bowl-sanctioned activity that will likely be in walking distance of timely public transportation. Can New Jersey say that? As a teenaged mall worker who often had to walk home because of infrequent and unreliable bus service after 9pm, the answer is an emphatic, no! Especially not to and from the asphalt locked MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
So, the fans that keep splitting the hairs and arguing about whether this is a New York Super Bowl or a New Jersey Super Bowl can shut their traps. New York cannot host the Super without the infrastructure and logistical release valve that New Jersey provides, while New Jersey clearly doesn’t have the requisite rapid transit system large enough to move all those people in a way that would not completely shut down the surrounding communities during the game. Super Bowl XVLIII will be played in New Jersey but the Garden State may eventually be a casualty of history. From a logistical and entertainment perspective, the upcoming game will be forever be known as a New York City Super Bowl. But the truth is they needed each other to make it happen.