Pittsburgh Looking to Add Hotels in Hopes of Super Bowl Bid
Ryan Wilson from CBS Sports reports that Tha Burgh is looking to land a Super Bowl bid in the sometime near future.
In February 2014, the Seahawks destroyed the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. New York and New Jersey served as hosts, and the game, played in the open-to-the-elements MetLife Stadium, went off without incident.
The week-long event showed that league could host its biggest game in a cold-weather city, and there are no shortage of NFL owners based in the Northeast who would like to bring the Super Bowl to their city.
In January, days before the Patriots defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX Steelers chairman Dan Rooney talked about having the game to Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, I think it should happen,” Rooney told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at the time. “As of last year, the (New York) Giants have had one. There have been games in Minnesota and Detroit, places like that. So now you think about it. Of course, you’ll have a lot of teams in the Northeast that will want one, but I think Pittsburgh would be a good place for the next one in the North.”
One of the biggest obstacles is a logistical one unrelated to weather.
Heinz Field is small for a Super Bowl venue (67,440 with the latest expansion), and there’s also the issue of enough available hotel rooms. commissioner Roger Goodell has previously stated that 30,000 hotel rooms are needed.
And that fact has everything to do with this one: Next week, city leaders will meet with representatives from Four Seasons Hotel properties to discuss bringing the chain to Pittsburgh.
Details from WTAE:
Mayor Bill Peduto says Pittsburgh was sought out by the chain because of the city’s emerging reputation for sports, tourism and being a center for global innovation. …
Peduto says Four Seasons is just one of several hotel giants scouting the city and expects an influx of new hotels in the next five to 10 years, which will drive Pittsburgh’s status upward for hosting events that have never been held here before, like the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four.
“The Rooneys have said they want to bring the super bowl to Pittsburgh, we just haven’t had enough rooms and the close proximity in order to do it,” Craig Davis, president and CEO of Visit Pittsburgh, told WTAE.
For what it’s worth, Goodell had previously stated that 30,000 hotel rooms are needed, but Minnesota was awarded the 2018 Super Bowl despite reportedly pledging some 19,000 hotel rooms.
Goodell also wants “some new blood” in the mix for the Super Bowl in 2019, and if Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl legacy plays a determining factor, it would seem to have an advantage.
“I don’t know if that should be a big part of it with us getting a Super Bowl,” Rooney said in January. “But I’m sure it will come up in the talks.”
Rooney added that he hasn’t broached the Super Bowl-in-Pittsburgh idea with Goodell, but said “some of our people have talked to some of the league people.”
The Patriots and Eagles have also expressed interests in hosting a Super Bowl.
“I’m a great supporter of playing this game in all elements,” New England owner Bob Kraft said in January 2014. “There are a group of us that really wanted it here, and the NFL has been very supportive of that.”
And Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie expressed similar sentiments at the time.
“Philly would be a great place to host it. It has everything,” he said. “All the infrastructure, fourth-largest city in the country, state-of-the-art stadium and great fan base.
Brian Christopher Jenkins