Super Bowl may get name for Giants-Jets stadium

Landing the Super Bowl in 2014 should help the Giants and Jets

finally put a name on their new $1.6 billion stadium.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, the owners of the two

NFL teams said the selection of the stadium for the NFL

championship game in roughly 3 1/2 years is bound to attract

sponsors interested in seeing their company’s name on the

82,500-seat facility.

Whether the Super Bowl association boosts the price of the

naming rights is uncertain.

Some experts believe that the naming rights for the stadium

located less than five miles New York City might fetch $20 million

annually for the teams to split.

“It can’t hurt,” Giants co-owner John Mara said at the press

conference at the stadium on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after

NFL owners awarded the New York-New Jersey area the Super Bowl.

“This is a positive factor. It makes it an even more attractive

package, the potential naming rights part, but that will

come.”

Until the naming rights are sold, the stadium will continue to

be called the New Stadium at the Meadowlands. It was to officially

open Wednesday night with a Bon Jovi concert.

The Giants and Jets had naming rights negotiations with a German

insurance company in September 2008, but talks ended when it was

disclosed that Allianz once had ties to the Nazis. The deal could

have been worth an estimated $30 million annually.

Jets owner Woody Johnson said that the stadium will be in the

spotlight for a long time.

“Look at it this way, between now and 3 1/2 years, a lot of

eyeballs will be on that spot,” Johnson said. “So if you are in a

business like carpets or anything else you are selling that has to

be helpful rather than hurtful, you’re going to gain two billion

eyes.”

Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said that the teams have not

established a naming rights price, or a price they would like to

get.

However, having the affiliation with the Super Bowl is a big

plus.

“It becomes an attractive additional component to a naming

rights partner,” Tisch said. “They will get a lot of exposure for

a long time prior to that Sunday in February.”

Steven Korenblat, a partner in the St. Louis law firm of Bryan

Cave, said landing the Super Bowl might accelerate any current

sponsorship talks, including naming rights. Korenblat noted that

because of the weak economy some sponsors might seek shorter deals

now, and longer ones when the economy improves.

“I wouldn’t say (the teams) are in the driver’s seat,” said

Korenblat, who helped negotiate Citigroup’s deal to put its name on

the New York Mets’ new stadium last year. “This looks still like a

buyer’s market very much so now. But on the other hand, if they

have multiple suitors considering these rights someone may be

motivated to grab the deal first.”

Mara said the Jets and Giants are thinking about bidding on

future Super Bowls, if the league will let them. The NFL allowed a

special exception for the teams to bid on the 2014 game.

The Jets and Giants owners also disclosed that they have to

raise $40 million to run the events surrounding the Super Bowl.

“John Tisch and Woody have some heavy lifting to do in terms of

raising the type of money needed to make this pay off,” Mara said.

“Someone asked before what the economic benefit is? You do not

make any money hosting the Super Bowl. You are lucky if you break

even.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. David Paterson

downplayed the possibility of snow and the cold spoiling what is

the first Super Bowl to be awarded to a northern open-air stadium

in the middle of winter.

Paterson said that bad weather has made some football games

special, like the Ice Bowl in 1967 or the Colts-Giants title game

in 1958.

“We will now have a game with many unanticipated moments,”

Paterson said. “It’s the unanticipated moments we remember.”

One offshore sports book has already established the over-under

for game day temperature for the Super Bowl at 34 1/2 degrees. The

odds on snow falling is 6-1 and on not falling 1-12.

“Trying to predict the weather even for tomorrow can be tough

at times let alone four years in the future,” Richard Gardner, the

sportsbook manager for Bodog, said in an e-mail.

“According to our research there is about a 10 percent chance

of snow falling in New Jersey at any time during early February

with the temperature likely to be between 34-35 degrees

Fahrenheit,” he said. “If someone wants to bet on if there will

be snow falling during the game four years from now at 6-1, we will

gladly take their action.”