NYC 'kicks off' plans for 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium
Super Bowl buzz may be generating in New Orleans for next week's big game, but this city is already getting its playbook ready for next year when the NFL championship is played in the Meadowlands.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell unveiled the Big Apple's plans on Thursday for the Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played for the first time in the area on Feb. 2, 2014.
Although the game will be played at MetLife Stadium, the home of the Giants and Jets, the mayor said the league wanted to take advantage of the city's energy so it will transform midtown into an NFL village in the days leading up to the game.
"We really wanted to embrace New York and New Jersey," Goodell said.
Broadway between 44th and 34th streets will be renamed Super Bowl Boulevard between Jan. 29, 2014, and Feb. 1, 2014. From noon to 11 p.m. on those days, the city will close vehicular traffic for various events including concerts, a display with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and other yet to be determined attractions.
During last year's Super Bowl week in Indianapolis, fans could fly down a zip line and the NFL's event planners said they would aim to top that.
"Our intent is to create the epicenter of entertainment and football along those 10 blocks," Mary Pat Augenthaler, the NFL's vice president of events, said.
Manhattan will also host other Super Bowl-related events including the media party at Chelsea Piers, where 5,000 press members are expected to attend.
Though this is the first Super Bowl that will be played in the northeast, and in an open-air stadium, the mayor and the NFL said they have provisions for keeping the players and fans comfortable in the cold weather.
Bloomberg added that the elements have always been part of football, and in his experience, create good sports memories.
"The best game I ever went to ... was the Colts-Giants [game] at Yankee Stadium," the mayor said, apparently referring to the December 1958 NFL Championship that's dubbed the "Greatest Game Ever Played."
"I went to a lot Giants games at Yankee Stadium and sometimes they were cold, sometimes they weren't."
No matter what temperature the thermometer reads or what teams duke it out at MetLife Stadium, the NFL said the city would net half a billion dollars in revenue.
"It's going to be a week of high-energy excitement for everyone involved," Bloom-berg said.