What should it take for the Chicago Bears to host a Super Bowl?
|Friday, January 24, 2020, 11:50 AM- -|
With us getting to the brink of Superbowl week, I would go off the wall a bit today and discuss what it would take for the Bears to host a Super Bowl.
Ideally, Superbowl’s have been played in warm weather climates with Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, and California as the primary destinations. Recently, both Dallas and Houston have been added to the bill, but even they are generally warm weather climates which offer a dome in case of inclement weather.
The NFL went off the wall a few times in recent years, awarding a Superbowl to New York, Indianapolis, and Minnesota. It appears Indianapolis is in line for one once again soon. That brings me to question outside of climate, what needs to happen for the Bears to host a Superbowl in their back yard.
For starters, Chicago is their biggest market in the United States, only behind Los Angeles and New York. That alone would make you think the NFL would want to host the biggest game of the year in the Windy City. The second growing concern when it comes to hosting the Superbowl is do these cities have enough hotels.
Well, I can tell you, not only does Chicago have enough hotels, but they have several surrounding areas within 30 miles that also could accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people that would flock this area during the week leading up to the game. Not to mention the plethora of public transportation, and you really wouldn’t have to worry about parking or other painful traffic headaches unless your driving into the city.
Another plus with having so many hotels is that Chicago also has plenty of expo centers, including the one right by the Shedd Aquarium on the shores of Lake Michigan. We know that Radio Road is a huge thing during the Superbowl, so putting this in large expo halls seems almost too perfect to make it work. Look at what Chicago did with the draft when it was in town. Not only did they get it right, but they transformed the area, the draft was in to make it the best possible destination for those three-plus days. What do you think they would do if the Super Bowl was here?
Outside of the hotels, expo centers, and travel itself, Chicago is also home to several other sporting venues, both pro, and college where certain Superbowl activities could be held. It would allow people to get out of the bustle of the city itself and have a chance to witness what goes on before the game. Come to think about it. Unless you have a ticket, most people who come to the Super Bowl come for the activities themselves, so having multiple venues to attract audiences is vital.
The final thing which I think is a dumb argument leading up to hosting a Superbowl is the climate itself. We have seen except for the three mentioned above, that generally, the NFL likes warmer climates to host the Superbowl given how much time fans spend outside. I understand their viewpoint on that, but they also need to understand this is football, this is the United States, and you can’t predict the weather.
Look at when the Super Bowl was last in Dallas and Atlanta. You had sunny skies and temperatures in the 60 and 70’s the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Fast forward one week, and you had winter weather advisories with snow and ice, which is what most northern states get that time of year.
Then you look at the Super Bowls in both Minnesota and Indy. Yes, the game was played indoors, so you didn’t have to worry about the cold, but they had temperatures in the 40’s and near 50 during media week, which is more than comfortable this time of year. New York was the same way as they endured warm weather all week and had a rainy yet 45-degree night for their Super Bowl. We need to stop using the climate and weather as an excuse not to host Super Bowls and start looking at the bigger picture.
Unlike every other sport, the Super Bowl is a winner take all game played on a pre-determined neutral site. Also, the week before the Super Bowl is the Pro Bowl, which has moved locations in recent years but remains on a neutral venue where all fans must travel to. I have been a huge proponent of every stadium hosting the pro bowl game, much like the way the other four major sports conduct their all-star game formats.
However, I am even more of a proponent to have every stadium in the NFL host a Super Bowl if they can do so. If you have the hotels, the transportation, the venue, and the broad media reach, the NFL shouldn’t shy away from allowing you to host this event. Not only will you attract people to see your city that may never been here in the past, but you could shock the world and prove that your city indeed deserved this bid a long time ago.
After years and years of hosting the Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the NFL finally started to branch off into other markets, and they have admitted they are surprised by the huge success it has been. The next step would be to start expanding the markets the Super Bowl can be played in.
In all honesty, if your team were to make the Super Bowl, do you honestly think the weather is going to stop people from showing up? I certainly don’t.
It is time for the NFL to reach an agreement to start hearing pitches from all 32 teams as to why they deserve to host the game. Will all 32 teams qualify, probably not, but that gives them some incentives to either remodel or plan if they would like to host one down the road. Chicago is a great sports town and would be a great market to host the biggest game at one of the original franchises' home venue.