NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t come right out and say it, but he gave a strong indication there will be no Super Bowl coming to Green Bay unless the city undergoes a dramatic growth spurt and/or transformation.
“It’s not about weather as much as it is infrastructure,” Goodell said at the Packers annual shareholders meeting. “You need 25,000 hotel rooms within 60 miles. It’s an extraordinary undertaking.”
There was some speculation Lambeau Field could be a candidate to host the game after New York was awarded the 2014 Super Bowl earlier this year, and Packers president Mark Murphy said he was intrigued by the prospect. At the time, we discussed Green Bay’s infrastructure shortcomings — not enough hotel rooms or conference facilities.
Goodell confirmed that with his statement. The Green Bay area has only 3,000 hotel rooms, which are not nearly enough to host an event the caliber of the Super Bowl.
More realistic is the chance the NFL Draft, or part of it, could be held in Green Bay if the league decides to move it from New York. The league’s lease is up with Radio City Music Hall and there hasn’t been a commitment to return in 2011, thus far.
Lambeau Field is also in the mix to host the Big Ten championship game, which the conference will be eligible to hold once Nebraska is officially a member. The Packers have formally thrown their hat in the ring as a potential host, although early indications are the conference is leaning towards Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
In other words, it looks like Green Bay isn’t quite ready for prime time.