Atlanta’s competition to host Super Bowl will be fierce

With Atlanta set to bid on a future Super Bowl, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in his state of the league address Friday, said the competition will be fierce because of a high demand to host the game.

As if that is not enough, the league has taken note of the weather issues that Atlanta has experienced this week.

“Each market has its own challenges,” Goodell said. “It’s clear to see that over the last two weeks, there have probably been a lot of weather complications in other markets where we’ve played multiple Super Bowls.”

The New York/New Jersey Super Bowl committee had a contingency plan in place for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a northern city. Super Bowls have been played in domed stadiums in Minneapolis and Detroit.

“Weather is a factor when you play in the United States in February,” Goodell said. “That’s what we are going to have to continue to balance. We are prepared for that. The communities in which we play are prepared for that.”

After the New York bid, several other cold-weather cities, such as Philadelphia, Washington, Denver and Seattle, reportedly are considering Super Bowl bids.

“The ability to host the Super Bowl is getting more and more complicated,” Goodell said. “It’s more and more complex because of the size of the events and the number of events. So, infrastructure is very important. We are well over 30,000 hotel rooms needed to even host the Super Bowl. So, there are some communities that may not be able to do it from an infrastructure standpoint.”

Atlanta has hosted two Super Bowls, but none since the ice storm of 2000. The Falcons are set to open their new stadium in 2017.

The Super Bowl is set to kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The temperatures are expected to be in the 40s.

London road trip: The Falcons are scheduled to play the Detroit Lions at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at Wembley Stadium in London next season.

Goodell had some tips for Falcons fans who may make the trip.

“I think they’re going to be amazed,” Goodell said. “It will be a wonderful experience. It is a great way to highlight the wonderful attributes of the Atlanta area by bringing the Falcons over there and talking about the connection of the Falcons in Atlanta and now London.”

Personnel men: Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff tipped his hat to Seattle general manager John Schneider and Denver's John Elway, the team's executive vice president of football operations, for making some shrewd moves to help their respective teams reach Super Bowl XLVIII.

“There is no question that I respect both John Schneider and John Elway in their approach to building a football team,” Dimitroff said. “They approached it with aggressiveness and confidence.”

Expanded playoffs: The NFL appears close to expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams.

“There’s a lot of benefits to doing that,” Goodell said. “We think we can make the league more competitive. We think we can make the matchups more competitive towards the end of the season.”

The competition committee, which is chaired by Falcons president Rich McKay, will make the proposal. Team owners would have to vote on the plan.