With 26 days until the first cold weather Super Bowl in New Jersey, NY/NJ Super Bowl Committee President and CEO Al Kelly told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the host committee is doing everything possible to make everybody happy on game day.
“Well I think the fact that the geographic footprint of this region is so wide, we have such great diversity and so much to do,” said Kelly. “Trying to figure out how to make everybody happy and have everybody participating and having everybody feel some of the economic benefits of it, certainly one of the big challenges.”
Fans attending the Super Bowl will be allowed to get to MetLife Stadium with a parking pass and by mass transit. Kelly said that it’s important to get the message across about parking restrictions and mass transit access, which is a different mindset for people heading into the stadium.
Walking to the stadium is being restricted, which Kelly said came about because of security and safety concerns. If people were to get dropped off and picked up before and after the game, it would be chaotic, according to Kelly.
“The fact of the matter is that people who go to a Super Bowl are not the normal crowd that go to Jets and Giants games. They’re not used to that complex and how to get around,” Kelly said.
With the upcoming Super Bowl being the first one held in cold weather, Kelly does not expect the game to get postponed for weather as there have been games held in frigid conditions like the ones held this past weekend. He said that the idea is for kickoff to happen at 6:29 p.m. on Feb. 2. Whether it rains or snows, Kelly said that the game will still go on.
On the day of the game, attendees will receive a package, known as the warm welcome package from the NFL and the host committee. Within the package, fans will receive hand warmers, feet warmers and a seat cushion so they can keep warm.
“It’s been one of the themes and objectives of the National Football League and host committee from the beginning,” said Kelly. “It’s an outdoor game and it’s in February and the northeast is going to be cold. Let’s embrace the weather.”
Attending the Super Bowl will be a more expensive proposition than past years. Kelly said that ticket prices go up on the secondary market for the Super Bowl and that it is a high priced ticket. The NFL decided to increase the price on tickets and since it is considered a game of firsts, Kelly said that ticket demand is going to be tremendous.
Since both New Jersey and New York have partnered as host, Kelly said that the game and events surrounding it have been nicely balanced. The stadium is in New Jersey and the two teams in the game will practice in the Garden State. Since media day will also be in New Jersey, Kelly said fans will want to stay within the state to be near their teams. With the hotel volumes in Manhattan, Kelly said that it makes the Super Bowl package come together.