Lighthall: NFL Taking the Fun Away from the Fans

By: Jim Lighthall

It’s bad enough that the Super Bowl has become a corporate event that few fans of the actual teams can even get into the stadium to watch anymore, but now the news that there will be no tailgating at this year’s Super Bowl?! The No Fun League strikes again!

The Super Bowl used to be a warm-weather game. A game that pitted the best two teams in the NFL and the outcome was based solely on talent and coaching. Weather was never supposed to be a factor. It rarely rained. The wind barely blew. And snow was never an option. But over the last few years, the NFL has been awarding the Super Bowl to cold-weather cities – at least those that had indoor stadiums. That all changed when MetLife Stadium – home of the New York Giants and New York Jets – was awarded Super Bowl XLVIII. Huh? It’s the New York/New Jersey area, and they can really throw a party, I get it. But did the NFL have to Big Apple-ize the Super Bowl too?

The highest ticket price ($2,600) for this Super Bowl is more than double last year’s ($1,250) in New Orleans. A ticket to Super Bowl I only cost $6. Inflation happens, I get that too. But a 5-day, 4-night cruise for my entire family to the Virgin Islands or one ticket to a football game? That’s if I can get a ticket since only 35% of the them even go to the competing teams.

It would have been nearly impossible for fans to tailgate anyway since there’s only 13,000 parking spaces available for 80,000 people (the NFL swallowed up tons of parking because of an extra-large security perimeter). No car services, taxis or limos are allowed to drop off/pickup fans unless they remain on site. And no fans will be allowed to park farther out and walk to the stadium either. The NFL is requiring all fans to arrive via shuttle bus or public transportation.

The NFL owns you. Just like it owns this game. I hope a blizzard hits New Jersey and the area is at a frozen standstill. Am I still bitter that the 2014 host runner-up was Raymond James Stadium? Probably. But cold-weather Super Bowls are stupid. At least until the NFL gives one to London, England.

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