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Tampa Bay almost sprung 2014 Super Bowl upset

Posted Sep 27, 2011 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Sep 27, 2011 at 02:01 PM

By IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—We were close.

Real close.

According to Jets owner Woody Johnson, the Bay area almost wrested away the 2014 Super Bowl from a New York bid fueled by the aggressive support of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Appearing at a news conference in New York Tuesday, Johnson talked about the first Super Bowl awarded to a Northern open-air stadium.

“The world will be waiting for us to probably screw up on this because this is the first cold-weather Super Bowl,’’ Johnson said. “It was very courageous of our commissioner and our fellow owners to vote yes on this—albeit on the fourth or fifth ballot.’‘’

When owners met in Dallas in May, 2010, many NFL observers considered the vote a mere formality. Instead, Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl proposal nearly beat out a joint bid by New York and New Jersey to place the 2014 game in the new stadium that houses the Giants and Jets.

At the league’s fall meetings in Houston in two weeks, owners will select the site for the 2015 Super Bowl, with the Bay area competing against Glendale, Ariz.

The next three games are slated for Indianapolis, New Orleans and New York and the league wanted to ensure the 2015 game would be played in a warm-weather city.

“A little snow would be great for us,’’ Goodell said Tuesday, referring to the 2014 game. “We’re coming and playing in the winter and I think that would be great.’‘