For decades, the powers-that-be in charge of selecting cites to host the Super Bowl had stated their preference for warm-weather locales and stadiums with domes to create ideal conditions for the most important game of the season.
That changed when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Feb. 2, 2014.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, participating in a fan forum one hour prior to the Ravens’ practice at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday evening, July 30, was asked by a season ticker holder if Baltimore could host a Super Bowl in the future.
Goodell said he recently heard a proposal for Baltimore and Washington to jointly host a Super Bowl, which he characterized as “an interesting idea.” But he maintained that a committee composed of NFL executives would prefer to keep the championship game in warm-weather cities and domed stadiums.
“We want the game to be played in perfect conditions,” he said. “Do you want the elements to impact it? I personally love football in the elements. I think that’s what makes it so special. So I love that part of it, but I also understand the issue of wanting to put on an event where we probably have 150 to 200,000 people. It’s really tough to do, and it put a lot of stress on smaller communities. If you guys want to make a bid, I’m sure the ownership is going to take a good, hard look at it.”
Talking about Art Modell: Goodell was also asked about late Ravens owner Art Modell’s absence from the Hall of Fame. Although Modell has been vilified in Cleveland and other circles for moving the Browns to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens, he was one of a handful of NFL team owners who helped get the league on television and was an influential adviser to late former commissioner Pete Rozelle. Modell died in 2012 at 87.
“I know what he contributed to the game, which is what I think the standard should be,” Goodell said. “What did you contribute to the game of football? Did you make the game different than it was and would you have seen the same changes without that individual’s participation? I think Art Modell has contributed a great deal to the game of football, and I hope he’s going to get consideration by the committee.”
Dodging CTE issue: Finally, Goodell did not address whether former center John Urschel’s decision to retire last Thursday may influence others in the future. Although it has been suggested that Urschel’s retirement has been linked to a recent CTE study revealed that a vast majority of the brains of NFL players showed signs of brain disease, Goodell said Urschel’s decision was a personal matter.
“I think the players make those decisions,” Goodell said. “I saw John’s comments on that, and players make those decisions for a variety of reasons, which he stated, and I respect players for making those decisions. But these are decisions they personally need to make, and whatever they make, we’ll certainly support them.”