CITY HALL — A super-sized Super Bowl party is coming to New York City in February 2014, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced at City Hall Thursday.
Although the big game will be played in MetLife Stadium across the river in New Jersey, the city will host several days of free events for fans who aren't able to get one of the 80,000 tickets.
Broadway will be shut down from 34th to 44th streets to become a "Super Bowl Boulevard" for four days leading up to the game, hosting concerts, football exhibits and NFL player appearances, officials said.
“It’s going to be a week of high-energy excitement for everyone involved,” Bloomberg said. “All of these activities are going to show our city’s best face to people around the world and will make being in New York for the Super Bowl truly memorable.”
Goodell said the events will allow hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the Super Bowl festivities.
“The Super Bowl is not just a game anymore. It’s really a week of hundreds of events that lead up to that game on Sunday,” Goodell said. “For the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl, we’ve embraced the opportunity to create plans that are as big, bold and unique as New York City and the surrounding region itself.”
Bloomberg downplayed the possibility of the Super Bowl turning into an Ice Bowl next year.
“The weather’s going to be fine,” he said. “Football is a game…played outdoors in the real weather.”
Jets Owner Woody Johnson said the weather is a challenge fans and officials will embrace.
“It will be fun,” he said. “We have to welcome this weather, and we will.”
Bloomberg estimated that thousands of tourists would flock to the city during Super Bowl week and that hundreds of jobs would be created as a result. He added that the hoopla will bring out the best of New York.
“We know how to handle big events,” Bloomberg said. “And this one will go off as a textbook case of what you should do.”