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NFL May Consider Seattle to Host Future Superbowl

August 29, 2012

It is certainly tough to find a more picturesque setting for a Superbowl than Seattle

The Seahawks have just recently denied the report of Seattle pursuing to be a future Superbowl Host City. However, speculation is still circling due to initial interest, and Seattle couldn’t make a legitimate bid until the Viaduct replacement tunnel is finished anyway. Seattle is still a possibility for the NFL to consider in the future. This piece comes from Nick Eaton of the Seattle PI.

Imagine the Super Bowl at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks are trying to make it a reality. After expressing interest in hosting the Big Game in February, the Seahawks have teamed up with the Seattle Sports Commission and have submitted an application to the NFL’s Super Bowl Advisory Committee, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bill Swartz reported Tuesday.

The next step is for the advisory committee to review Seattle’s application. If CenturyLink Field proves to be a viable host, the Seahawks could then be invited to submit an official bid to host a Super Bowl.

Six months ago, an overwhelming majority of seattlepi.com readers — in an unscientific poll — thought it would be awesome if Seattle hosted a Super Bowl. But there are several hurdles Seattle must clear in order to be considered.

First of all, to host a Super Bowl, a stadium must have a seating capacity of 70,000. CenturyLink Field generally seats about 67,000 for NFL games, but can be expanded to 72,000 for special events. Besides, the capacity rule seems to have some wiggle room — this past February’s Super Bowl was played in front of 68,000 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Secondly, a host city must have about 25,000 hotel rooms available within an hour of the stadium. According to Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, there are about 12,750 hotel rooms in downtown Seattle and about 34,200 hotel rooms in all of King County. Again, this rule also seems to be fairly loose — for the 2013 Super Bowl, New Orleans was required to secure just 20,000 hotel rooms, according to the Super Bowl XLVII website.

Another requirement is that the host city have a February temperature of at least 50 degrees, unless the stadium is covered. Seattle’s average high in February is 50 degrees. The NFL waived that requirement for the 2014 Super Bowl, which will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the average is 30 degrees, according to the Super Bowl XLVIII website.

The website also notes that a Super Bowl is estimated to inject nearly $400 million into a host city’s economy.

Meanwhile, it seems the NFL has loosened its requirements for the Super Bowl — or at least for the Big Game’s 50th anniversary. One general requirement is that the city must have an NFL team, but the Super Bowl Advisory Committee is considering Los Angeles and even London for Super Bowl L.

Super Bowl locations have been announced through 2015, so the 50th anniversary could be Seattle’s first chance. But, realistically, Seattle probably wouldn’t get that honor. The stadium district likely wouldn’t be able to support a Super Bowl until after the completion of the viaduct-replacement tunnel, which is slated for 2016. Swartz reported that Seahawks officials think their first good shot would be for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Seattle never got a Super Bowl in the Kingdome, even when it was one of the hottest stadiums around. (Yeah, that was a long time ago.) And the city would certainly not be the smallest to ever host the Big Game; as the 15th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., Seattle is bigger than previous host cities Minneapolis, San Diego, Indianapolis, Tampa and New Orleans.

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