New Jersey has landed several major events and assignments for next year's joint Super Bowl with New York, including Media Day, the first official public event of the week leading up to the championship game, and hotel lodging for the two teams that will meet at MetLife Stadium, state officials announced today.
Media Day, a high-profile event featuring players of both teams, will be held at Newark's Prudential Center on Jan. 28, 2014, Gov. Chris Christie's office said in a press release. It will mark the first time the event is held outside the game's host venue.
Christie's office also announced today that both Super Bowl teams would stay at New Jersey hotels as they prepare at the Giants' and Jets' practice facilities. The NFC team will use the Timex Performance Center, in East Rutherford, while the AFC team will practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, in Florham Park.
"Our region's first Super Bowl is a little more than one year away, and in New Jersey, the countdown has officially begun," Christie said in a prepared statement. "Hosting the big game on Feb. 2 and its many celebratory lead-up events during Super Bowl week is a major win for the state, its tourism and economic developments."
The 2014 Super Bowl will be the first in NFL history to be held in an open-air venue in a cold-weather setting, and also the first to be hosted by two franchises.
The Garden State also will host another "mainstay" Super Bowl event, the NFL's Tailgate Party, at the Meadowlands Racetrack's grandstand, the press release said. The event takes place in the final hours leading up to the event.
The host committee's pregame party also will be held here, as will the postgame parties for both participating teams, all at venues to be announced, state officials said.
Christie's announcement came about 90 minutes before a press conference at New York City Hall, where city officials and members of the game's host committee unveiled the list of events that will be held east of the Hudson River. Once the press conference began, Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted attractions such as "Super Bowl Boulevard," a four-day event that will turn a 10-block stretch of Broadway into a corridor of player appearances, clinics, concerts and other features
Super Bowl Boulevard will have many of the same features as the NFL Experience, an annual interactive convention-style event that has become a Super Bowl week staple. Published reports last year said the Javits Center, New York City's largest event space, missed out on the fan fest because it was already booked with two other conventions.
Jim Kirkos, president and CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, said he would have "loved to have the NFL Experience … but the fact is we didn't have the right venue." Still, he said, "I think New Jersey fared really well."
New York City will also host other key Super Bowl events such as an NFL awards show, the annual media party and the headquarters for 5,000 credentialed media members.
"I think the reality is that all boats are going to rise here," host committee CEO Al Kelly said when asked about splitting the economic benefits between New Jersey and New York.
Kirkos said, "I think Al Kelly and the NFL are living up to their commitment of making sure that New Jersey is well represented by events." Kirkos said he was confident the Garden State would also host several private corporate events around the game.
Prudential Center's owner and Devils Arena Entertainment Chairman Jeff Vanderbeek said the venue is delighted to be hosting a Super Bowl event. "Media Day is always a great kickoff to Super Bowl Week, and we intend to help make it a great fan experience."