Presentations made for New York Super Bowl

Oct. 30, 2002 at 10:54 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Presentations for a Super Bowl in New York and Washington and a discussion of the "Fair Competition Resolution" highlighted Wednesday's session of the NFL's fall meetings.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue first proposed the possibility of staging a Super Bowl in New York last season after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I really don't know if the majority of owners are in favor of it," Tagliabue said. "They heard the presentations today from both the Giants and Jets as well as one from Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder."

For more than three decades, the NFL's premier event has been held in warm-weather cities or domed stadiums. But the league may be ready to expand its horizons and venture into a cold-weather city. If that's the sentiment, New York may be first on the list.

The Giants made their pitch for the 2008 Super Bowl, based on a proposed $200 million renovation of Giants Stadium, which would include enclosing the outside of the stadium to help shield against the wind and cold.

"I think the owners are very anxious to come to New York-New Jersey," said Giants treasurer Jonathan Tisch, who made the presentation in his role as chairman of the New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We think in New York we can do it bigger and better and with a sense of style and energy more than any other city in this country."

The Jets presented a plan for a Super Bowl at or after 2010, based on a $1 billion retractable roof stadium on the West Side of Manhattan. But the chances of the building even being constructed probably hinges on whether New York is awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"I'm very optimistic we can get a stadium in Manhattan by 2009," said Jets president Jay Cross. "It really is a great concept and I don't think it's tied in at all to the Olympics."

Snyder made his proposal for FedEx Field to host the event in 2008. However, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who serves on the 10-member Super Bowl committee, was skeptical.

"Playing up north in an outdoor stadium, my feeling is it doesn't offer us championship conditions," Wilson said. "In case of a severe snowstorm, the players will be falling all over the place."

The Super Bowl already has been awarded through 2006 and Tagliabue announced Wednesday that the 2007 game will be held at a warm-weather site that already has hosted the event, perhaps Miami or Tampa Bay. Voting on future sites may be conducted in May.

The 2003 Super Bowl will be played in San Diego, followed by Houston in 2004, Jacksonville in 2005 and the new domed stadium in Detroit in 2006.

The other major topic Wednesday regarded the small number of black coaches in the league and the "Fair Competition Resolution" made by attorneys Johnnie Cochran and Cyrus Mehri. Their proposal would reward and penalize NFL teams for their hiring practices regarding racially diverse groups.

Cochran and Mehri, who were not at Wednesday's meetings, proposed a plan that would give NFL teams extra draft picks for interviewing minorities for coaching and front-office positions and take away draft choices from teams that did not interview minority candidates.

However, NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw, who is black, scoffed at the plan proposed by the attorneys.

"It's ridiculous," Upshaw said. "That will just make some teams go out and interview African Americans for the sake of getting the extra draft picks, even if they have no intention of hiring an African American."

Herman Edwards of the Jets and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts are the only black head coaches in the NFL. Cochran and Mehri have suggested the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the league if more minorities are not hired in coaching and front-office positions.

"I am very sensitive to this issue," Tagliabue said. "Before I became commissioner, I represented civil rights as a lawyer. But in this case, you have 32 (head coaching) jobs with hundred and hundreds of applicants."

In 1980, there were 14 black assistants, none of whom were offensive or defensive coordinators. Now, there are 154 black assistants, including 12 coordinators.

Although progress has been slow regarding black head coaches, Upshaw believes the problem will be resolved internally and without the threat of outside lawsuits.

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