The Steelers are eyeing another Super Bowl – this time as a host. They have officially filed an application to host the Super Bowl 8 years from now. It’s an interesting play by the Steelers here, and it gives reason for the city of Pittsburgh to be excited. This is the very beginning of a long process. We won’t know who will win the bid for Super Bowl LVII until 2019, and Steelers President Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they are not certain if they will actually make a bid. If they do, there are many factors to consider; two of which could be road blocks to keep Pittsburgh from hosting the Super Bowl.
Cold-weather factor: The NFL has already had a Super Bowl in a cold weather city. It went pretty much without incident, at least with the weather (I can’t speak for the thrashing of the Broncos). It was a modest 50 degrees, which is very mild for the New York/New Jersey area for the first week of February. Minnesota is hosting Super Bowl LII in 2018, but their new stadium will have a translucent roof, so the only thing the weather will affect is the traffic and Super Bowl week festivities. The chances of Pittsburgh having mild weather in the first week of February is not very likely. Even if it doesn’t snow, the temperature will more than likely be a factor. The NFL did know the risk when they awarded New York with Super Bowl XLVIII, but they were criticized by many for giving a cold-weather city the privilege to host a Super Bowl. This may cast some doubt into the minds of voters to give Pittsburgh a Super Bowl.
Size of the market: Pittsburgh is first and foremost a football town. The Steelers are always number one in this city, and the Steel City would go insane if by some chance the 2022-23 Steelers make it to the Super Bowl. However, Pittsburgh is a small city. There will be competition for this bid, more than likely from larger markets that would be more attractive to the NFL. If the NFL has proven anything in recent memory, money talks louder than anything else. Pittsburgh does meet the requirements for hotel space for the numerous tourists and media that make the trip, but limited parking space and other minor issues could throw a monkey wrench into Pittsburgh’s desire to host a Super Bowl.
All in all, I think Pittsburgh would be an interesting choice to host a Super Bowl. The city would be electric and I think it could be a great host. Plus, the fact that Super Bowl 57 could be played at Heinz Field is a marketer’s dream (Heinz 57). There’s a good amount of intrigue when taking in all the deciding factors. I also believe the NFL might cave into their ties with the Rooney family. If the Rooney’s weren’t the Steelers owners, I don’t think Pittsburgh would have a chance to land this bid. We’ll find out in the next few years how realistic this chance is. Meanwhile, there’s other Super Bowls to concentrate on first.