FORT WORTH — In a live interview Saturday night with WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen, the man who led efforts to bring the Super Bowl to Cowboys Stadium responded to criticism of his organization.
Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King was among the scribes and broadcasters dealing with the unprecedented snow and ice storm that descended on North Texas this week.
"I-30 between Dallas + Fort Worth is a plow-less, snow-windswept moonscape," King said in a Twitter message. "This is officially a debacle."
But North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host committee president and CEO Bill Lively couldn't disagree more.
"Mr. King is entitled to his assessment," Lively said during the interview in Fort Worth's Sundance Square. "If you look at the bottom line, it's this: We'll have the biggest crowd in history for a game of its kind tomorrow; the largest gate, the largest television audience; in the greatest stadium. That, you have to understand, is what we're here for. We play the game."
After making plans to deal with bad weather, then, who is responsible for what has happened?
"Mother Nature," Lively said. "We had the best Plan B conceivable. We had extra equipment, extra sand, extra gravel, extra labor. We had the worst storm in American history in 50 years, and we got the tail end of it right here."
So are corporate sponsors happy with the way things have turned out?
"We're hearing good things," Lively said. "The hospitality that our fans have felt here in North Texas has been extraordinary. That's been really, really good. The big parties of the NFL, the Host Committee and others have all gone on. The little parties — the smaller events, have been compromised, there's no doubt about that — but the big things have happened."
Lively said the numbers are adding up so that it makes sense for North Texas to welcome the nation's biggest sporting event.
"The return will be extraordinary," he said. "Sure we've been compromised because of the weather, but even Price Waterhouse Coopers reported last week they're projecting a $200 million direct economic impact from this game."
Hansen asked Lively what he say about his role in Super Bowl XLV looking back on the experience.
"I got to work with [former Dallas Cowboys quarterback] Roger Staubach — that was a really good thing. And I got to learn a lot about this community, and we brought something here for the first time that could not have been done any other way. It's been a great adventure for me."