What are the chances Chicago could land a Super Bowl at Soldier Field? For most of the city’s football fans it wasn’t even on the radar as an option – Chicago in February isn’t really a destination vacation for anyone – BRRR. Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to believe his city should host the biggest stage in the NFL and now the city is in a bit of a tizzy considering the possibility.
Emanuel started making moves Thursday after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in Chicago to present the Bears and the Chicago Park District a LEED certification. Soldier Field is the first NFL stadium to receive the honor for its environmentally sustainable attributes.
After successfully hosting the NATO Summit with minimal hiccups, the new mayor believes Chicago could be a Super Bowl city. I see his point; if we can host global leaders and crazy rioters/protesters around town, we can absolutely host NFL fans for a weekend.
Prior to this year, Soldier Field had never been considered as a possible venue because it didn’t meet two of the standards. The old regulatory rules for Super Bowl hosts were the following:
1) The city must have NFL team
2) The stadium must have at least 70,000 seats
3) The average temperature in January must be at least 50 degrees (fat chance) OR the stadium must be domed
4) There must be at least 24,500 hotel rooms within an hour of the stadium.
The NFL recently threw out #3 which means Soldier Field isn’t completely ruled out. Goodell noted that the NFL is scheduled to host its first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city — New York — in 2014. “The most important thing now is having a great stadium and having a city that can have the infrastructure to host the hundreds of thousands of people that come in,” the commissioner said.
I wouldn’t start making your “Chicago home of the 2016 Super Bowl” banners just yet. Soldier Field’s small capacity of 63,500 would make it an unlikely candidate for Super Bowl hosting unless some modifications were made. Even after it’s remodeling in 2003, the stadium just doesn’t have enough seats because architects kept the original exterior in tact. With other larger stadiums out there, the NFL will be more profitable with a host who has a higher occupancy (especially since a single Super Bowl ticket costs at least $1,000). A dollar makes them holler honey boo boo.
To be honest, I would rather SEE the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl than have Chicago HOST the Super Bowl. Let’s focus on what’s really important Bears fans.