All of Colorado and much of the world will focus today on the Super Bowl, which gives Denver the opportunity for a third NFL championship. Soon, Colorado should host this game.
A win today will lift spirits throughout the state, but our mere presence reminds the rest of the world that Colorado is an athletic state. We ski, hike and train some of the world's best Olympic athletes. We lack for no major sporting teams.
Furthermore, Denver has become so hyper cosmopolitan over the past two decades that it's the top destination for millennial generation professionals seeking a place to call home. This is a state of majestic mountains, fruited plains, urban skylines and more sunshine than San Diego. It's a space in which professional athletes, up to and including the legendary Peyton Manning, hope to spend their careers. It's a state so desirable our professional athletes often settle down here long after they've retired from their sports.
So what place on earth, we wonder, would be better to host an upcoming Super Bowl?
Back in the 1990s, as Coloradans contemplated a new venue to replace the old Mile High Stadium - built for the Denver Bears minor league baseball team in 1948 - we all heard talk about the need for a dome. Yuck. At the time, we were told, the NFL wouldn't consider Denver as a host for the Super Bowl without a dome because of potential for snow and cold in January and February. But Coloradans are outdoor people and few could stomach the thought of football in some closed environment. We like sun, snow and views of grandiose mountains and Denver's impressive skyline.
So Coloradans made perfectly clear their objection to a dome. They didn't even want retractable dome, as it would be closed when weather could and should be part of the game. We would live without hosting a Super Bowl as opposed to playing indoors.
Today, things have changed. The NFL allowed New Jersey to host the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Talk about the potential for inclement weather. The average January high in East Rutherford are 38-degrees.
On average, Denver is almost 10 degrees warmer during the day this time of year. Denver also gets less snow.
Relative to New Jersey, Denver is tropical paradise. So no more talk of our weather in regards to hosting the main event.
"I think Denver would be head and shoulders above any other city to compete to host a Super Bowl," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, as quoted by the Denver Post in November.
Though portrayed as a New York-based Super Bowl, MetLife stadium is a considerable trip from the heart of city. That's not to downplay the fun so far.
New York has given Super Bowl attendees the amenities of Times Square and all else the Big Apple has to offer. But Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High is smack downtown amid nightlife and culture few other major cities can match.
Thank you New York and New Jersey for breaking the mold and defending the cold. Though hosting could be fun, today Coloradans get to enjoy the privilege of competing for American football's highest achievement. Win or lose, the Broncos continue making Colorado proud.