Why Can’t College and Professional Football be Played Outside?

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you might know there have been 45 Super Bowls played in the NFL. As a Packer fan, as of January 13, 2012, the Green Bay Packers won the first and last Super Bowl. Even though I have not reviewed the entire list of all locations for the past 45 Super Bowls, I would assume most of these Super Bowls were played in cities with favorable weather in January and February. States such as Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, and California come to mind.


If we play Super Bowls in Southern States because of their more favorable weather, why not play the game outside in this favorable weather? Should the media, ticket holders and visitors dictate how and where the game is played? Should the history of professional football and the integrity of the game supersede the convenience consideration of those live viewers?


If Super Bowls are played in the northern part of the U.S., the NFL has mandated that all past Super Bowls play indoors. That will change for New York in a few years which is the exception and not the rule. I say, if it’s a weather issue in the north, the same principle should apply as far as a weather issue in the south. The game was invented to be played outside so why not oblige – especially in areas with nicer weather in October through late January?


The same principle could apply to the BCS championship game and bowl games. I understand a number of consecutive BCS games have been played inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans recently. Why? With the SEC dominating collegiate football, perhaps having it at the Superdome cuts down on travel expenses for the competitors (smile).


In terms of LSU and Alabama, both teams play their most if not all home games in an outdoor stadium and then they are required in 2012 to play the BCS championship indoors. Why?


Even before they get to the BCS championship game, the SEC Championship game is played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. One more interesting thing about the Georgia Dome, they will host the SEC Championship game until 2017. Not good for those fans who like to watch professional or college football games outside.


Regarding football, both Atlanta and New Orleans have fairly respectable weather during football season – especially after September. Why do both cities have domed stadiums? Is this strictly a business or logistic decision and not a football one?


On a slightly different note, to the best of my knowledge, most if not all Big Ten teams play their home football games outside. So is it not curious that the first Big Ten football championship game is in Indianapolis, which has a retractable roof which was not open for the maiden game?


Who and how is it decided to close the retractable roof? Does the weather have to be ideal for the roof to be open? How is this communicated to the fans and teams? Why does it appear that the TV announcers never mention the reasons why the roof is closed?


On Saturday, January 7, 2012, the Houston Texans played the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston, TX. The temperature in Houston was 69 degrees and the Reliant stadium roof was closed. Are you surprised?


Who decides this? How much time does the opponent have to prepare for this? If weather a 80 degree sunny day with low humidity, does the home team still get to decide to close the roof? I’m wondering if this is a competitive advantage to the home team – you know, domed stadiums are much more likely to keep the noise inside and adversely affect the visiting team.


What’s going on here? The Georgia Dome has a capacity of 71,250 and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome has a capacity of 73,000. Certainly not the kind of capacity for really big events. The Big House in Ann Arbor holds 42,000 more people than the Georgia Dome and about 40,000 more than the stadium in New Orleans formerly known as the Superdome.


In other words, for these really big events, including the Super Bowl and BCS Championship would qualify, choose a venue which can hold between 90-100,000 spectators. I will give Jerry Jones a little love for building that monstrosity in Irving, Texas that seats around 100,000. It may not be engineered the way I would have designed it, but it’s a large enough venue to hold about 30,000 more spectators than either the Georgia Dome or Mercedes Benz Superdome.