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“Rich Pricks Who Don’t Care About Football May Be Less Likely To Attend 2014 Super Bowl.”

[ 29 ] May 26, 2010 |

Uh, good?

This will be familiar to everyone who reads political journalism, but many sports journalists are afflicted with a similar Stockholm Syndrome in which “maximizing the taxpayer-subsidized profits of billionaire owners” is conflated with “the good of the sport” or “the fans.” But this faux-concern that corporate fat cats might be slightly inconvenienced by not being able to watch football in antiseptic conditions is an especially good example. I can see why it might be in NFL’s interests to keep its corporate sponsors as comfortable as possible, but why the hell should I care about that? What I do know is is the football is vastly better outdoors than played in a warehouse, and having to deal with less-than-perfect weather makes the game much more interesting.

Not that I think the NFL is even sacrificing profits anyway; if you can get 71,000 fans to watch a regular season NHL game outside in January in Buffalo, it’s safe to say attendance isn’t going to be down. And having the Super Bowl played in an actual football stadium is likely to attract even higher ratings than usual.

Comments (29)

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  1. mds says:

    I’m torn. On the one hand, I’d like to be alive and well in 2104. On the other, one of my few current comforts is the thought that the rich pricks of today will be less likely to attend a 2104 Super Bowl on account of being dead.

  2. Martin says:

    Exactly.

    I would take it even further. Baseball and football could suffer serious reversals resulting in the disbandment of teams and so forth, and it would difficult to argue that the average fan’s enjoyment would be much affected. I’ve been watching baseball since I was 6, and I’ll probably be watching it when I’m 96, and if baseball’s revenues go down by 50% in the next five years, I don’t think it would matter much to me in terms of my willingness to watch the games.

    I wrote about this a couple of months ago when Adam Gopnik swore off baseball — as if this were of any interest to someone who enjoys the sport!

  3. Meh, this guy is basically just trying to construct an argument as to why Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, and New Orleans should continue to have a monopoly on the location of the Super Bowl. That’s obviously going to lead to some pretty stupid arguments.

  4. Hilariously, at least one columnist from the Buffalo News has written a piece about how this is a bad plan. I think what it comes down to is that the sporting press views the Super Bowl as a warm-weather junket that they are entitled to attend. Oddly, I’ve yet to see anyone complaining about the fact that the Conference championship games– which are usually where the excitement is– are often played in the outside.

    Outdoor hockey has been such a big hit it’s hard to believe the NHL (a) thought of it; and (b) keeps doing it. The Super Bowl is likely to survive a game played in weather.

    • witless chum says:

      College hockey thought of it, my Spartans played Michigan at Spartan Stadium before the NHL got into the act.

    • Rob says:

      Yep, the Super Bowl is a media convention more than anything. Every two bit sports radio show tries to get there for the week, every mid-size or larger city newspaper somehow justifies sending a reporter. It them complaining that they won’t get their all expense paid vacation to a warm climate. They’ll just have to transfer to the spring training racket I guess.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        ANd frankly, leaving aside the fact that who cares what’s good for the reporters, I can’t say I have much sympathy for journos getting a junket in NYC as opposed to Tampa…

  5. mark f says:

    The fans who pay $800 minimum to attend the Super Bowl are barely football fans.Think corporate America will sit in a New York February for four hours?

    This guy does have a point. Corporate America and personal indulgence really have no place in New York City.

    • Rob says:

      So that means Super bowl tickets are less expensive that a regular season Giants ticket right?

      • mark f says:

        I’m not sure what that question is supposed to mean. Of course the once-a-year league championship will cost more than regular season games, no matter the location. The Giants and Jets have the 4th and 5th highest average ticket prices in the league. I’m sure with the new stadium they’ll jump up the $2 to move into 2nd and 3rd, and maybe even pass New England for #1.

  6. Also, this certainly is nowhere near as bad as the “it’s not going to be played in New York, it’s in New Jersey” line.

  7. mark f says:

    Due to a friend’s insistence and a confluence of favorable factors, I went to the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl in 2002. Where I was sitting the section was full of fans of each team (except for the two guys in front of me, Raiders fans who bought their tickets prematurely). And walking around on Bourbon Street the night before practically everyone was wearing a jersey for one or the other team. I just don’t buy that the stadium is regularly full of people who aren’t fans. Luxury boxes, sure, but it’s not Jay-Z’s camera flash you see from the nosebleeds at kick-off.

    • Yeah, I’ve really never really bought that either. I figured my perspective was biased though, because I know at least 4 HUGE football fans who saved money for years just to go to a Superbowl.

      • mark f says:

        My experience is somewhat biased, too, because scalped tickets were relatively cheap that year, but I think it only strengthens the point. The two major factors that lowered prices were the canceled games after 9/11 eliminating the usual bye-week after the conference championships (thereby giving fans of the competing teams less time to make arrangements), and the surprise nature of the Patriots’ appearance in the game (and their expected mauling).

        If only corporate assholes showed up to Super Bowls as a status vacation then neither of those factors would’ve driven the ticket prices down.

  8. Thlayli says:

    [H]aving the Super Bowl played in an actual football stadium is likely to attract even higher ratings than usual.

    Super Bowls aren’t played in “actual football stadiums” now?

    AFAICT, the last site that wasn’t a normal NFL home field was Stanford Stadium 25 years ago.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      I just mean, not in a dome (although, in fairness, two of the stadiums with an apparent monopoly on Super Bowls are open field.)

      • hv says:

        For the record: there is talk among sports columnists (see PTI Monday of this week) of allowing LA to host, although LA lacks an actual NFL stadium due to lacking a franchise.

  9. [...] who are going to spend four hours in cold for the 2014 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey, but I think one can make a fair case that inclement weather makes football worse for the [...]

  10. MSB says:

    I think you’re giving the sports media WAY too much credit to postulate that they actually have thought enough about the issues involved in the economics of sports to have taken a side. To my perpetual frustration–because, for some reason, I can never bring myself to quit sportscenter et al.–sports media is ruled by people who make Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer look like Einstein and Newton. The level at which these people swallow whatever is fed to them and read the card no matter what it says is positively Ron Burgundyesque. They get spun like the tea cups ride every day they come to work. Christ, Bret Farve is two weeks away from starting a gay rumor about himself and Adrian Peterson just to prove that he can. Doing Sports PR is like being paid to beat up infants. Go fuck yourselves, sports reporters.

  11. richard says:

    I’ve been to one Super Bowl game -Rams/Steelers at the Rose Bowl. Got the tickets through a connection to Pete Rozelle. I’m a moderate pro football fan (much bigger fan of basketball, hockey and baseball) but I can fake knowledge and enthusiasm. Seats were on the forty yard line about twenty rows up (in the days before luxory boxes). I was surrounded by diehard fans and I expect that is still the case (except possibly for the suite holders and their guests). The idea that the live audience for Super Bowl games is only the rich and elite and non-fans is bunk. That said, having the game in NJ in the cold and snow is a great thing.

  12. howard says:

    the simple fact is, god did not intend for football to be played in warm weather: if he or she had, it would be called “armball,” because warm weather football is all about the passing game.

    more seriously, there’s a reason that people who don’t remember much about last year’s super bowl still remember the ice bowl 43 years ago….

  13. mds says:

    Oh, and you’re welcome. :-)

  14. CJColucci says:

    If memory serves, no team has ever played a Super Bowl game in its home stadium. Does anyone think the NFL tries to make that happen in the selection process? If not, is it just dumb luck — much helped by the former unwillingness to put a Super Bowl in an open, cold-weather stadium, which eliminates several frequent Super Bowl contenders?

    • John says:

      Rams vs. Steelers in the Rose Bowl was pretty close to a home game for the Rams (they played home games at the Coliseum at the time). The 49ers also played one in Stanford Stadium, which is, again, pretty close to home.

  15. mpowell says:

    God I hate the love of cold weather games among football fans. The game is random and capricious enough as it is. If the NFL thought the forward pass needed to be more restricted, there are plenty of ways to achieve that goal short of having the title game played under significantly different conditions than those that pertained for 90% of the season.

    Only Americans would be stupid enough to think that a sport’s playoffs should feature playing conditions substantially different from those of the regular season. In European football leagues, they are smart enough to realize you don’t even need a postseason to award a championship…

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