NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently told Baltimore Ravens fans that Washington and Baltimore co-hosting Super Bowl week with the Pro Bowl in one stadium and Super Bowl in the other about 40 miles apart may be the path to bringing the major event to the area.
Bravo. Someone thinking outside the box.
Separately, neither city has a chance of gaining the game. It’s on a cycle of New Orleans, South Florida and California with a cold-weather city maybe getting the game once per decade. But if the two cities offered a joint bid, then maybe events could come to both towns.
OK, getting the Pro Bowl is a real lesser of the two, but it beats nothing. The two games fill hotels and restaurants in both cities when normally empty around late January. The weather can be iffy, but if fans can watch the Capitals play hockey outside on New Year’s Day, they’ll surely come to two major football games.
The Washington Redskins could use the promise of a Super Bowl as leverage in stadium talks with Maryland, Virginia and the District, which is a long shot. The promise of the economic impact of a Super Bowl, which was worth $719 million in 2015 to Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz., is a politician’s way of justifying spending $1 billion in tax payer money for a stadium to house the Redskins, which Forbes recently rated worth more than $3 billion. Critics often claim Super Bowl economic figures are always inflated, but the two games would certainly pump in significant money.
That said, if Washington’s next stadium lands in Virginia, there’s less incentive for a Baltimore-Washington bid. And, Baltimore may forgo it anyway thinking hosting the Pro Bowl might prevent an actual Super Bowl bid.
But as Goodell said, it’s an “interesting” idea.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.