2014 Super Bowl site, overtime rule hot topics at NFL meetings
IRVING, Texas — Ready for an outdoor Super Bowl in cold, possibly snowy weather? Thinking that new overtime rule adopted for playoff games should be used in the regular season, too?
NFL owners will discuss those things and more Tuesday.
The 2014 Super Bowl site definitely will be picked. It’s widely expected to go to the new $1.6 billion Meadowlands stadium that will become home to the Jets and Giants this season, although Miami and Tampa, Fla., also are bidding.
The new stadium for the New York City area would seem like a natural site for the NFL’s marquee event, especially with league headquarters in Manhattan. Plus, the league has rewarded cities for building expensive new stadiums by giving them a Super Bowl.
But there’s a fundamental problem: the Meadowlands doesn’t have a roof and temperatures are usually in the 20s during early February in East Rutherford, N.J. There’s even a league rule aimed at ensuring good weather, either by playing in a warm climate or by having a roof; the fact it was waived for this bid shows what a shoo-in it might be.
Yet there will still be a vote and teams in other cold-climate cities could support it in hopes of permanently scrapping the weather rule so they, too, can host the lucrative event. After all, the success of the NHL’s outdoor game in 2008 helped turn that into an annual event.
“I don’t see how it’s not played here,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ve got the best city in the world. I think that’s indisputable. We’ve got arguably one of the top stadiums in the league, a brand-new stadium and it helps two teams.”
As for overtime, when owners last met, in March, they voted to change the sudden-death rule so that if a team losing the coin toss immediately gives up a field goal, they still get a chance to score and either tie it or win — but only in the playoffs.
There’s a sentiment that if the rule is good enough for the postseason, it should be done in the regular season.
“It is on the agenda for a ’possible vote’ after consultation with the clubs,” said Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee. “In March, there were a number of clubs who wanted to discuss it at the May meeting, and we will see if this leads to a vote on the issue.”
Owners also will talk about the proposed sale of the St. Louis Rams.
Illinois businessman Shahid Khan reached agreement with owners Chip Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez on Feb. 11 to buy the team for an estimated $750 million. Last month, Missouri billionaire Stan Kroenke — who already owned 40 percent of the team — exercised his right to match the offer and purchase the remaining 60 percent of the club.
Beyond the financial issues, there’s also a problem because Kroenke owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and NFL rules prohibit owners from also owning clubs in the NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball.
The league worked around that rule in 1994, when Wayne Huizenga bought the Dolphins in 1994 while already owning the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers. However, there are many differences between the scenarios.
Also Tuesday, less than a mile from the hotel where NFL owners will meet, Hall of Famers Joe DeLamielleure and Elvin Bethea will be among the retired players holding a news conference to make it clear they’re still upset with the NFL Players Association and its executive director, DeMaurice Smith
Since taking over the job from the late Gene Upshaw, Smith has settled a legal dispute over marketing rights for former players and added two retirees to the executive committee. He’s also brought current and former players together at meetings.
Yet this group isn’t happy with him, saying they will discuss “questionable practices by the NFLPA leadership” that could lead to a repeat of the 1982 strike.
Commissioner Roger Goodell also is likely to address a Supreme Court ruling against the league Monday in its quest for antitrust protection. Justices said the league must be considered 32 separate teams — not one big business — when selling branded items like jerseys and caps.
Smith and the NFLPA lauded the court for a move it says keeps the league from acting like a monopoly.