Hushed seconds and then the ‘Super’ explosion

Let the celebration begin. For once, the Jets and Giants teamed

up for a win.

NFL owners voted Tuesday to play the 2014 Super Bowl in the new

$1.6 billion Meadowlands Stadium in what may very well be the first

cold weather championship for the world’s biggest football

game.

The league made a special exception for the Giants and Jets to

bid on the game, and supporters of both teams held their breath

when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement after the

fourth and final vote of the owners.

As soon as Goodell said New York and New Jersey, there were

roars, screams, cheers and clapping. The crying towels were thrown

away. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie high-fived Jets center Nick

Mangold and Giants guard Chris Snee.

“It’s about time they pick a site that has some luster and

pizazz,” said music promoter Jeff Colon, 48, of Brooklyn, who

watched the announcement on one of the giant TVs in New York City’s

Times Square. “I think true football fans will be able to enjoy

the game.”

Two Florida cities – Miami and Tampa – and Meadowlands

organizers delivered final presentations to the owners on Tuesday

in Irving, Texas and the balloting was close. No one got the 75

percent needed on any of the first three ballots. Miami was

eliminated after the second and the NY-NJ group won the majority

needed on the fourth vote.

“Nobody knows how to host an event like the greatest city in

the world,” Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. “The Super Bowl

is the greatest event and I think meant to be played on the

greatest stage. I’m happy for John Mara and Steve Tisch and their

families and for Woody Johnson and the Jets. They have invested

greatly in this region, and it’s good to see them rewarded and New

York and New Jersey rewarded.”

Mangold said the reward would extend beyond the $550 million

economic bonanza for the region. Talking in a style that would make

Jets coach Rex Ryan proud, Mangold predicted a game that area fans

would love.

“Put my stamp on it, this will be the first two home teams

playing in the Super Bowl,” he crowed.

Ryan, naturally, also applauded the decision.

“To me, it’s a no-brainer when you consider that this vote

helps two teams, the Jets and the Giants,” he said. “Add in the

fact that you have as good a stadium as there is in the league and

no one is going to complain about this not being a great Super

Bowl, because you’re in the best city in the world.”

The Super Bowl is expected to bring hundreds of millions of

dollars to New York City, in part from an estimated 250,000

visitors expected to attend the NFL Experience public trade show,

said Chris Heywood, a spokesman for NYC & Company, the city’s

tourism arm. About 50,000 to 60,000 people are expected to stay in

the city’s hotels, while media sponsors and corporate sponsors also

will be adding their cash to the mix.

“We’re the city that hosted the greatest game ever played more

than 50 years ago, and we’ll be ready for Super Bowl XLVIII,” New

York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Our restaurants, stores

and hotels will be ready. Our pubs, cafes and attractions will be

ready. And if it snows? We’ll be ready for that too.”

Bloomberg said 48th Street would be renamed 48th St.-Super Bowl

Way in honor of the upcoming game.

The outspoken Christie was ready for questions about people

inevitably saying ‘New York got the Super Bowl.’

“Those comments would come from the geographically challenged,

because I’m looking out that door, and it’s New Jersey, and I look

where that stadium is, and it’s New Jersey, and when everybody gets

on the train or in their cars or on buses, they’re going to be

coming to that game in New Jersey,” the first-term governor said,

adding that the selection of the stadium might be the impetus he

needs to run for a second term in November 2013.

“This is not a competition between us and New York, what this

is, though, is New York is going to have to live with the fact

that, when the game comes up, they’re going to say: ‘Live from East

Rutherford, New Jersey.”’

As Christie addressed about 200 people in Redd’s Restaurant and

Bar, Eddie Marthinson and Paul Helwig sat at the bar and drank some

beers. All they wanted to talk about was football.

Helwig, 63, of Woodridge, said he has watched every Super Bowl

on television. The only one the Jets’ fan missed was when the Jets

played the Colts in Super Bowl III.

“I was in a rice paddy in Vietnam,” Helwig said. “I listened

on the radio at four in the morning.”

Marthinson, a 66-year-old Giants fan, said he was at the

Colts-Giants title game at Yankee Stadium in 1958.

“Football is supposed to be an all-weather sport,” he said.

“Some of the greatest games in NFL history have been played in the

cold.”

Dennis Robinson, the chief executive of the New Jersey Sports

and Exposition Authority in the Meadowlands, where the new 82,500

seat facility is located, said the weather would not be a problem,

noting the Jets’ final home game this season was played just six

hours after a major snowstorm ended.

“This is the icing on the cake after 34 years,” Robinson said.

“This is the ultimate worldwide event. We’ve had a papal visit,

the World Cup, the Final Four and now the Super Bowl in 2014.”

Some of the greatest games in NFL history have been played in

the cold, including the Giants’ NFC championship win over Green Bay

in January 2008, when the temperature plunged to about minus

25.

“Nobody wants to play in the cold,” Jets cornerback Darrelle

Revis said. “But New York City – there’s something special about

this city, man. It’s one of the best cities in the world, so why

not have a Super Bowl here?”

Added Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.

“The biggest game and the biggest market? We should’ve done

this years ago,” he said.

Associated Press writer Megan K. Scott in New York contributed

to this report.