Bloomberg announces a car-free, all-weather ‘Super Bowl Boulevard’

Times Square. (D&S McSpadden via Flickr)
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Back when Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a young man, he used to go to football games in Yankee Stadium. It was always cold, and he liked it fine.

Today, he announced that in the four days preceding next year's Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, ten blocks of Broadway would be closed to traffic to make way for a free, open-air football-entertainment extravaganza called Super Bowl Boulevard. And he brushed off concerns about the cold.

"The best game I ever went to was, I think I went to," he said, prompting laughter from the reporters assembled before him. "Well, I was 16 years old. That's a long time ago folks, but I really do remember it. It was the Colts-Giants in Yankee Stadium."

(His spokesman later confirmed for me that the game in question took place in 1958.)

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"I grew up in a world where [football] was played outdoors, in the real weather," Bloomberg continued. "That's one of the things that makes it special."

This time next year, the N.F.L. will be preparing for a Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but many of the accompanying events will take place in New York City. The Super Bowl media center will be located at the midtown Sheraton, the media party will be at Chelsea Piers, and the N.F.L. Honors awards show will be held in the city, too.

From Wednesday, January 29 through Saturday, February 1, from noon to 11 pm, cars will be banned from Broadway between 34th and 44th streets.

In place of traffic, visitors will be able to see the Vince Lombardi trophy on display, go to concerts, take part in football clinics and get player autographs. There will also be warming stations.

CORRECTION: The original version said that cars would be banned from driving "north or south" along the designated part of Broadway, but cars don't drive north on Broadway below Columbus Circle.