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January 31, 2014

Super Bowl weather forecast will be watched closely by other cities hoping to host



The next three Super Bowls already have been awarded: to Arizona next year, San Francisco in 2016 and Houston in 2017. The 2018 game is to be awarded by the owners in May from among Indianapolis, Minneapolis and New Orleans. Whether cold-weather cities with outdoor stadiums will begin bidding to host games beyond that remains to be seen.

The NFL waived a weather requirement — that a host city with an outdoor stadium have an average temperature of at least 50 degrees at this time of the year — to allow the bid by New York and New Jersey to proceed. At the time of the vote, there were mixed feelings among owners as to whether the move was being made for reasons unique to having the game in New York, or to open the possibility of having future Super Bowls in cities that usually wouldn't qualify for consideration.

Now, as the Feb. 2 matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., draws close, those mixed feelings persist.

"I would say when the vote was taken, I regarded it as a New York-only vote," Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a telephone interview. "I think this first came up shortly after 9/11 and there was sentiment for doing something for New York. I think Washington was mentioned in some of those conversations as well. But it took a while for New York to put together a bid and a package that everyone was comfortable with.

"I think it will remain a rare occasion when the game is played in a northern city, particularly without a dome," Rooney said. "But I do think people will be watching and it could affect future decisions."

But while Murphy, a former Redskins safety, acknowledged the hopes of other cold-weather cities with outdoor stadiums to secure future Super Bowls, he said those hopes might not be realistic.

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