By DAVE SKRETTA
(KANSAS CITY, AP) — Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt believes Kansas City could pull off hosting a Super Bowl after the NFL decided to bring its marquee game to a cold-weather venue this season.
That doesn’t mean he expects it to happen anytime soon.
Speaking to reporters in New York ahead of Sunday’s game between Denver and Seattle, Hunt said that the biggest obstacle to Kansas City hosting the Super Bowl remains the number of hotel rooms in the metropolitan area. The league requires at least 40,000 rooms to be available, far more than are available in Kansas City and its surrounding suburbs.
“It’s something that the commissioner has been pretty consistent about in terms of Kansas City hosting a Super Bowl, that hotel rooms would be our biggest challenge,” Hunt said. “Clearly, the NFL has a set of guidelines for any Super Bowl, but I think in certain cases they’re willing to overlook certain things. So maybe that could happen.”
The next three Super Bowls have already been awarded to Glendale, Ariz., San Francisco and Houston, and NFL owners will vote this spring on the 2017-18 championship game.
That means that Kansas City would have to wait until at least 2019 for its chance. Even then, it would almost certainly receive strong competition from other cold-weather venues such as Denver, Seattle, New England and Philadelphia.
“We could absolutely pull it off,” Hunt said. “Putting the hotel rooms aside, I know that we would have a fantastic Super Bowl, and all of the guests would have a tremendous time.”
Hunt said that it would bode well for Kansas City’s chances that the weather is expected to be pleasant — or, at least not frigid — for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. That could make league owners more agreeable to taking another chance on a cold-weather venue.
He also said it could help if Kansas City lands the 2016 Republican National Convention. The city is competing with several others, including Denver and Las Vegas.
“I think that would be very beneficial to a potential Super Bowl bid,” Hunt said of the convention, “and I’m hopeful that Kansas City is going to be selected for that. I’ve heard very good things about our chances.”