Texas researching for next year's Super Bowl


Published: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 5:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 5:58 p.m.

DALLAS Sunday's Super Bowl game in Tampa, Fla., may be all about the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a group of North Texans are using the day to look ahead to 2011.

That's when Super Bowl XLV will be held in Arlington at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

A contingent from North Texas, led by Roger Staubach, NFL Hall of Famer and president of the local host committee, is in Tampa to see how planning translates into reality. They made a similar trip to the Super Bowl last year in Arizona.

"We're laying the foundation ... that will give us a chance to hopefully do things other Super Bowls haven't done," Staubach said in Sunday's editions of The Dallas Morning News.

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck already has one thing he wants to concentrate on when he gets back. Cluck promises a renewed emphasis on traffic control after getting stuck in traffic in Tampa and missing an awards ceremony Thursday night. What should have been a 30-minute trip took 2 hours.

"Traffic was almost stopped. We have to really find a way to move traffic efficiently into and out of the stadium area," Cluck said.

Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief says the area has to develop a "Plan B" for transportation should weather an uncontrollable force become a factor during Super Bowl week.

Staubach said bad weather can hurt a host city's chances for securing another game.

"We sure wouldn't want an ice storm," he said. "That happened in Atlanta (in 2000), and that hurt them."

Staubach said he doesn't believe that weather would be a deal-breaker for North Texas.

An ice storm caused travel problems in North Texas last week but temperatures can be as high as 80 in February in the region.

The committee hopes to put on a Super Bowl show that will keep the game coming back to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium with some regularity.

The Cowboys hope to have a record crowd, which would have to top 103,985.

Bill Lively, North Texas host committee chief executive officer, said they also want to raise more for charities than other Super Bowls.

The host committee plans to spend at least $20 million to cover the costs of events associated with the game. Arizona's committe raised $17 million and the host committee in Tampa worked with $7.2 million.

The North Texas committee already has eight $1 million donors committed to the effort, the newspaper reported.

The trip has been helpful, committee members say.

"You clearly see the things that are done right and hopefully see a couple of things that we could do better," Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said.

Dallas police Deputy Chief Julian Bernal said he would like North Texas to take an approach similar to Tampa where there is a lot of cooperation among all levels of law enforcement, from local to federal.

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