Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a pitch to the NFL for the city to host a Super Bowl.
During an informal meeting Thursday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Emanuel floated the idea of staging American football’s showpiece event at open-air Soldier Field, myFOXchicago.com reported.
"We talked about why Chicago, just two weeks ago had a bunch of world leaders here, [the] sixth largest NATO summit, if we can do that it’d be a perfect place to have a Super Bowl," Emanuel said.
The Super Bowl is held in early February each year, a time of near Arctic conditions in Chicago. However, the NFL has changed its long-held policy of hosting Super Bowls in warm weather cities or indoor stadiums.
The first open-air Super Bowl in a cold weather city will be held at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2014.
"If we can do it successfully there, I think that opens up doors that we’ll all be looking at. Obviously [Chicago] knows how to host great events, the mayor just mentioned several and we’ve got a great stadium," Goodell said.
One problem that would need to be overcome is that the NFL has a minimum seating guideline for the Super Bowl of 70,000 for host stadiums. Soldier Field’s capacity is just 63,500.
However, Goodell said, "Capacity’s always an issue, but I think at the end of the day we’d have to look at the specifics that would be part of the bid."
The Super Bowl is estimated to bring in about $150 million in revenue to host cities.
Emanuel joked that he had an ace up his sleeve in convincing Goodell.
"I found out a secret and that is the commissioner’s in-laws live in the Chicago area, and I’m holding them hostage until that happens," he said.