(CBS) On Wednesday, Bears chairman George McCaskey left the door ever so slightly open in regards to a Super Bowl being held in Chicago. While Soldier Field is about 8,500 seats short of the NFL’s preferred seating capacity for the big event, McCaskey cautioned, “I wouldn’t say never” to the idea.
If Chicago is to make a run at a Super Bowl, its next chance is for 2019, as bids have already been awarded through 2018. With that in mind, here’s five contenders (in alphabetical order) to host the crown jewel of the NFL in 2019.
The Falcons broke ground on their new stadium in May, and owner Arthur Blank has already lobbied to bring the Super Bowl to the new stadium. If recent years are any indication, the lure of a new stadium is a big selling point — AT&T Stadium in Dallas opened in 2009 and hosted the 2011 Super Bowl, and and the 49ers’ new home in Santa Clara, Calif., that opens this fall will host the 2016 Super Bowl.
Any bid spearheaded by mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s power brokers is admittedly a long shot. For one, even though the first cold-weather Super Bowl went off without a hitch in February in New York-New Jersey, Chicago’s winters can be especially brutal, with Lake Michigan capable of wreaking havoc. Organizers would also have to get creative in expanding Soldier Field’s capacity, but given Emanuel’s clout and the city’s worldwide appeal, there’s always a chance.
Lucas Oil Stadium hosted the 2012 Super Bowl that was the epic second battle between the Giants and Patriots, and it was again a finalist to host the 2018 contest before Minneapolis was awarded the game. To the causal observer or non-Midwesterner, Indy isn’t all that flashy, but its downtown has plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the stadium. The problem is it lacks ample hotel space near the stadium.
Good weather? Check. Good people? Check? Good party? Absolutely. The Superdome has hosted seven Super Bowls, more than any other facility. And the city last held one in 2013, so 2019 wouldn’t be too soon.
This idea is more theory than anything else right now, but the success of the game in New York-New Jersey has opened the door for Seattle. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league will strongly consider bids from other cold-weather cities to host the Super Bowl. Seattle has some of the best football fans in the country, and the CenturyLink Field is a first-rate facility. Plus, the weather’s not that bad. Average February temperatures are in the 40s in Seattle.