|Cowboys' new stadium to help NFL super-size 2011 Super Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 22 May 2007 22:34|
NFL owners voted Tuesday to play the 2011 Super Bowl in the Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, a $1 billion stadium seating up to 100,000. The North Texas bid also features video screens in plazas at either end zone, and Dallas owner Jerry Jones said up to 120,000 tickets could be sold.
``Everyone has always told me, 'I wish we could get more fans in the Super Bowl. I wish we could do that,''' he said. ``I think the fact we can have 100,000 people in the stadium is important because it includes that many more people in our biggest event in the NFL.''
Texas beat out Indianapolis and Arizona to host the game in a close vote. Officials said Texas won 17-15 on a fourth ballot edging Indianapolis when only a simple majority was needed.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said he told Indianapolis officials they would talk about the future. But Dallas' bid with thousands more seats made the difference.
``I also believe the fact they had an extraordinary capacity which allowed more fans to be able to attend the Super Bowl was a very big factor,'' Goodell said.
They let Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, 2-2 as a Super Bowl starter, pitch their bid, and he touted Texas' long football history. Then there was the stadium with a sliding roof to protect against any winter weather.
``We're going to work real hard to live up to the responsibility we have of winning this bid to make it the best Super Bowl that's taken place in 45 years,'' said Staubach, chairman of the bid committee. ``We're thrilled about it.''
The NFL has taken the Super Bowl to Texas only twice before, and both were played in Houston with 2004 played in the Texans' new stadium. The Cowboys, who have played in eight Super Bowls, now are bringing the game itself to their part of Texas.
Indianapolis tried to overwhelm owners with more than $25 million in commitments to pay the tab of hosting the Super Bowl with a domed stadium opening in 2008. Colts coach Tony Dungy received a nice round of applause from the owners in making the city's bid and touted the city's history of hosting five Final Fours and the Indianapolis 500 each year.
They even had a Top 10 list from David Letterman capped by the No. 1 reason: His mother's tailgate party.
``I think every other aspect of our bid, candidly, was stronger than Dallas' but for the size of the stadium,'' said Fred Glass, president of Indianapolis' bid committee. ``So based on that, that's the only thing I can think of that was the deciding piece.''
Indianapolis last lost a bid to host the 1992 Super Bowl to Minneapolis, but Colts president Bill Polian said owners told him and team owner Jim Irsay that Indy should bid again.
``I don't think those were idle words of consolation. They were true feelings. The committee did as good a job as anyone could possibly do. We just came up a little short,'' Polian said.
Arizona had no star power in trying to become a part of the Super Bowl rotation like Miami, which hosted the game in February and is on tap for 2010. Mike Kennedy, chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl host committee, said visitors can enjoy the weather.
``Arizona is the best Super Bowl venue in the United States year in and year out,'' he said.
During the NFL's one-day spring meeting, Goodell:
-Met with owners to review medical standards for managing concussions. That means protecting anyone who anonymously reports doctors pressured to clear players or players pressured to play.
-Said the league will work with the players' union, the NFL Retired Players Association, NFL Alumni Association, NFL Charities and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in an alliance to coordinate medical support for former players.
-Briefed owners on paring down the time it takes to complete the first two rounds of the draft. Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney said he doesn't think teams need 15 minutes per pick in the first round, and the commissioner said he expects to make a decision by fall.
-Talked about player conduct, including situations involving Tennessee cornerback Adam ``Pacman'' Jones, Chicago defensive tackle Tank Johnson and Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick.
Player conduct remains a big topic, especially in the town where Jones has been suspended for the 2007 season for off-field conduct Goodell deemed detrimental to the NFL last month.
Jones appealed that suspension in a hearing May 11. But a decision is not expected this week because Goodell said he had been busy prepping for the owners meeting.
As for Johnson, who met with Goodell last week after a two-month stint in jail for violating probation, the commissioner said: ``I do not believe there's any information I'm still waiting on. I might be able to move on that faster.''
And the league office is monitoring the case of Vick and the questions of dog fighting on property he owned until recently. Goodell said he is writing back to U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) who asked him to act swiftly in a letter to the commissioner.
``I do share his concern. On the other hand, I want to make sure we understand the facts before we make any decision on this and the acts are still unclear,'' Goodell said.