DALLAS — WFAA's own Mike Leslie broke the story that the NFL is looking at AT&T Stadium as an alternate site for Super Bowl LVI.
The story raises an even bigger question: does it really take a pandemic for North Texas to be considered to host a Super Bowl again?
The last time AT&T Stadium hosted a Super Bowl was in 2011 for Super Bowl XLV, when the venue was still known as Cowboys Stadium. And the only thing worse than Dallas' historic rivals — the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers — playing in the Big Game was the week-long ice storm punctuated with a seating fiasco the day of the Super Bowl.
According to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, there are other issues that have been greater factors to the NFL’s championship game going to other NFL cities.
"What we’ve really run into is the NFL likes to, when you build a new stadium, they really like to take that market and give it the big bump that goes with that new stadium and have a Super Bowl in that area," Jones told "K&C Masterpiece" on 105.3 "The Fan" [KRLD-FM] Friday. "And I think that more than anything, the building of other new stadiums, has kept us from having another one sooner than we have."
Save for Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans, Super Bowl XLIX at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston and Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, every Super Bowl since the 2010 season has been played at a new stadium, and there have been eight opened since 2008.
Jones champions the North Texas area as a Super Bowl site because of the logistics and also optics.
Said Jones: "While you have some of the weather issues, some of the kind of the vacation experience issues on the Miamis or the Californias, still this is the center of the country and logistically it makes a lot of sense for the NFL considering our entire national fanbase. Still believe that, still believe we have the best venue, and all of that."
The 79-year-old, who was born in Los Angeles, a fact occulted by his being the co-captain on the 1964 Arkansas Razorbacks national championship team, is still hopeful SoFi Stadium will be able to host Super Bowl LVI.
"I was thinking positively frankly for California," said Jones. "That’s the plan. That is where it’s scheduled. I really, in the spirit of hoping that we have a lesser COVID intensity impact there, we’ll be having it as planned.
"But make no mistake about it: if we do have a situation where we need to make an adjustment, we have a great place to have the Super Bowl right here and we all want to be a big can-do participant in it.”
Do you think AT&T Stadium should be the site for more Super Bowls? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.