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View Full Version : Ranking & Comparing the various Super Bowl Cities


IDEXAN
02-04-2011, 10:13 AM
1. Dallas. This is not just because it's cold and freezing, but, unlike the Atlanta Super Bowl in 2000, events are way spread out. Cowboys Stadium is 15 miles away in Arlington, Texas, and many NFL-sanctioned events are in other cities like FT. Worth, 30 miles away. I still can't get over the sight of ESPN's Mike and Mike show coming from a set in Ft. Worth so cold the hosts were blowing steam. (Why were they in Ft. Worth and not the warmth of the Dallas Convention Center, where Media Row is, is beyond me.)
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4. Houston in 2004. Houston was cold, but not snowy, so that wasn't a big deal. And considering that it too was spread out, not so bad overall and the Super Bowl itself was a blast, and even had a wardrobe malfuction. But the problem was the conflict between placing events in Downtown Houston and the other places that had stuff going on. You needed a car to get around, and could easily get lost if you didn't know your way.
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10 and 11. Miami in 2006 and 2010. Miami's the best place for the Super Bowl, and provides the right combination of weather, concentration of venues and event along South Beach, hotels, and parties. Going to the Super Bowl there is like being in a dream factory with beautiful venues and people. Awesome.
http://blog.seattlepi.com/zennieabraham/archives/238165.asp
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This ranking is worst to best, meaning Dallas is the worst and Miami is the best with Houston somewhere in the middle-range.

infantrycak
02-04-2011, 10:29 AM
Dude is a clown. The Houston SB drew tremendous praise from the talking heads that thought it was going to be bad like Peter King. Plenty of restaurants and hotels so they didn't have to bring in cruise ships like Jacksonville and people didn't have to eat at TGI Fridays. Think commissioner Goodell thought Mark's was one of the best restaurants he had ever been to. I really don't understand why folks always laud New Orleans as a SB site. Most of the food (yes there are exceptions) and drink places are shlock tourist joints. The weather is the same as here. Don't get it. I guess folks are real enthused about smoking in McDonald's at 3 am.

IDEXAN
02-04-2011, 11:41 AM
I really don't understand why folks always laud New Orleans as a SB site.
You really have to ask ? Party ! Party ! Party !

RazorOye
02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
I really don't understand why folks always laud New Orleans as a SB site. Most of the food (yes there are exceptions) and drink places are shlock tourist joints. The weather is the same as here. Don't get it. I guess folks are real enthused about smoking in McDonald's at 3 am.

I think that's underselling New Orleans.

The weather is a wash. It's the same as with Houston. I can't compare Miami and San Diego (2 of the other top 3 acc to most general consensus). While I think this particular writer undersells Houston as a Super Bowl host, I think it's not as good a site as New Orleans.

I've been to New Orleans plenty but lived 5 years in Houston.

The food is definitely better in New Orleans and I don't think that most of the food is "shlock tourist joints" - the places to drink? Yes. Obviously. But overall, the food scene in New Orleans is considerably better than what Houston has to offer.

Additionally, we're talking proximity - the places to eat and drink are in a much more compact area and that convenience counts, I think, for a lot in tourist's eyes (and viewing the host city as a tourist destination is important, imo).

I've been to a few shared holidays in the two cities and the only time Houston came reasonably close to New Orleans was the Livestock Show and Rodeo and even then the downtown comparison wasn't close to what New Orleans offers in major holidays. New Orleans downtown was just more lively. And I think that reputation helps NO as a tourist destination.

I know it did any time we had visitors - family and friends from Canada would come down and would often schedule a New Orleans arrival or departure for their trip and universally, they felt that NO was much more fun and much easier to get around in.

I think that plays a strong role.

New Orleans is much smaller and easier to get around in and I think that contributes to it as well. I think I read somewhere that New Orleans outstrips any other southern city - by far - when it comes to accommodations per capita or area, so there's plenty of room for visitors close to attractions whether it's partying, eating, museums, shopping, music, etc.

The music scene is much more pronounced in New Orleans. The art scene, for me anyway, was stronger in Houston. I love - and miss - the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Alley Theater, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Zoo. And I loved that they were all in the same area. I think each of these trumps NO excepting the D-Day Museum and the Aquarium. Overall, Houston is stronger here.

So while you think that the author of the article jobs Houston (and I'd agree), I think saying that the only difference between Houston and New Orleans as tourist destinations is "being able to smoke at McD's at 3am" is likewise jobbing NO, though I realize it's an exaggeration.

infantrycak
02-04-2011, 12:07 PM
The food is definitely better in New Orleans and I don't think that most of the food is "shlock tourist joints" - the places to drink? Yes. Obviously. But overall, the food scene in New Orleans is considerably better than what Houston has to offer.

Nope, not even close and I am kind of a foodie. There are a few places in New Orleans but most of it is deep fried schlock. Houston has a far greater variety and far better overall quality. One of my favorite restaurants used to be in New Orleans. Sadly it closed down - not enough battered food I guess.

Additionally, we're talking proximity - the places to eat and drink are in a much more compact area and that convenience counts, I think, for a lot in tourist's eyes (and viewing the host city as a tourist destination is important, imo).

If you're (generic you, not you) too lazy to get a cab I don't know what to say.

The music scene is much more pronounced in New Orleans.

I cut off some of your post for brevity and realize you are trying to be fair so kudoos and may just agree to disagree. The music scene is meaningless in this context. People travel to the SB for the parties, week in advance dining and the game. Houston had fantastic parties for the SB. Hugh Hefner rented out the Hotel Derek by himself. You can't compare the average tourist non-SB experience to what happens SB week. They just aren't the same. On a random weekend, tourist experience I would rate New Orleans higher. For a SB, not even close - Houston hands down winner.

IDEXAN
02-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Comparing Houston and NOLA is truly comparing apples and oranges.
Houston is an economic and industrial and employment giant and I'm thinking 3to 4 times the size of NOLA (either city vs city or metro vs metro).
On the other hand NOLA was an economic basket-case decades before
Katrina, but it's still a supreme party and convention town, and for sure the super bowl is a convention: it's more about the days and days of media/social events leading up to the game than it is about the actual Sunday game.
And NOLA is also a convenient place for conventioneers to get around in while the sheer size and the non-zoning mentality that many attribute Houstons very successful business climate and low real estate prices to makes for a hodgepodge of hotels & convention sites spread out all over the place and not handy to navigate to and from.

RazorOye
02-04-2011, 12:48 PM
and realize you are trying to be fair

I am

may just agree to disagree

we will

Because when it comes to food, I've had much better meals in New Orleans than Houston. And in NO, the places where I enjoyed the meals were easier to get to - the cab ride was shorter or I could walk to it or catch the streetcar.

In Houston, probably the best half dozen meals I had were located in different areas and Houston traffic was never fun. And when I went last year for a visit it still wasn't all that enjoyable, though I wish the progress on the Katy Fwy would've been further along when we moved so that I could've enjoyed it - it did improve things in that area.

In any event, I enjoyed Houston's food scene. And I consider myself a bit of a foodie myself - but it just wasn't quite as good or nearly as concentrated as NO's.

I would, however, rate it better than Toronto's. Toronto has much more diverse offerings, but for a city this size I find the food scene to be a bit disappointing. Montreal, in a much smaller area, offers better food.

So, Houston has Toronto beat. That's worth something, right :D

You can't compare the average tourist non-SB experience to what happens SB week. They just aren't the same. On a random weekend, tourist experience I would rate New Orleans higher. For a SB, not even close - Houston hands down winner.

a fair point

I haven't been to SB week in either. So I'll defer to those who have, I guess.

Comparing Houston and NOLA is truly comparing apples and oranges.


agreed - with all of your other points, too - and I think they weigh heavily for visitors and tourists for events like the Super Bowl.

infantrycak
02-04-2011, 01:05 PM
Because when it comes to food, I've had much better meals in New Orleans than Houston.

One of those tough things to judge. I lived in the San Francisco bay area for 8 years and although it is known as a food town I rank it below Houston. Like I said one of my favorite restaurants used to be in New Orleans - modern twists on French. Like in New Orleans there are certainly great places but an on average estimation. I have/had favorite great restaurants in each but on overall variety and quality I rank Houston higher. Now finding out where the heck the good meals are is a challenge in any of them and can certainly color your opinion. I know a great taco trailer (really a trailer and she does some of the best traditional tacos around), place that does the best foie gras, place that makes daily different pates and another with fantastic banh mi within a few miles of each other. Gotta know the area. Unless you got lucky you probably wouldn't find any of the places I just mentioned.

On Houston generally, that is totally different. Certainly not a pretty city. Lots of places such as Austin I would rate better overall. At this point just rambling talking food to another foodie.

Dan B.
02-04-2011, 01:33 PM
IMO Houston has one of the best restaurant scenes in North America. It's criminally underrated. I haven't been to all of the traditional food towns, but I've been to most of the big ones -- SF, Chicago, NY, Boston, DC, LA, NO, etc.

I'd put Houston in the top 3, in particular for the diversity, which I find to be much broader than some other places.

RazorOye
02-04-2011, 01:44 PM
I know a great taco trailer (really a trailer and she does some of the best traditional tacos around)

Some of the best BBQ I had while I lived in Houston was out of a trailer - it was called Memphis BBQ or something equally generic. I remember eating outside on a spool, with an ice chest of canned cold drinks I picked one from. There was some velvet Elvis there, too. It was near West Oaks Mall - kinda near the shooting range there on Westheimer, west of Hwy 6. And there was an Icehouse next door.

Anyway, a friend of mine - who loved food and knew about more places in Houston than I did - took me there and I loved it. Went a few times - but one day I pulled up and apparently the trailer had moved. Not actually sure what happened to it.

But, yea, I had my reservations about BBQ from a trailer. It was really surprisingly good.

A place here reminds me of it - Jumbo Empanadas - this little hole in the wall in Kensington Market here in Toronto. Unique place. Kensington Market - a very Anglo name - set in the heart of Chinatown here. And there's this Chilean woman who opened an empanada restaurant.

She moved here years ago and got a hot dog/sausage cart and sold empanadas out of it. Phenomenal. Eventually she made enough to open her own place.

Best bargain, imo, in all of downtown. For less than 10 bucks, you can get an amazing homemade corn pie or a couple of empanadas and an Inca Cola.

GuerillaBlack
02-04-2011, 02:47 PM
IMO Houston has one of the best restaurant scenes in North America. It's criminally underrated. I haven't been to all of the traditional food towns, but I've been to most of the big ones -- SF, Chicago, NY, Boston, DC, LA, NO, etc.

I'd put Houston in the top 3, in particular for the diversity, which I find to be much broader than some other places.

Yeah, places like New Orleans don't come close to Houston when it comes to food diversity.

Dude is a clown. The Houston SB drew tremendous praise from the talking heads that thought it was going to be bad like Peter King. Plenty of restaurants and hotels so they didn't have to bring in cruise ships like Jacksonville and people didn't have to eat at TGI Fridays. Think commissioner Goodell thought Mark's was one of the best restaurants he had ever been to. I really don't understand why folks always laud New Orleans as a SB site. Most of the food (yes there are exceptions) and drink places are shlock tourist joints. The weather is the same as here. Don't get it. I guess folks are real enthused about smoking in McDonald's at 3 am.

People underestimate H-Town. Most people had fun here during the Super Bowl and everything was pretty centralized, for the most part. The bigger parties were in and around the Loop. Main Street in Downtown looked like a giant Bourbon Street, if people don't remember (I was down there that night for like five minutes before catching the Metro bus back to Katy and remember how packed it was):

http://shawnbouley.com/images/main_event_27.jpg

http://shawnbouley.com/images/main_event_9386.jpg

http://shawnbouley.com/images/main_event_9084.jpg

The only reason why Houston hasn't hosted another Super Bowl was because the small market owners hate the big market owners like McNair. I remember shortly after the SB, people were saying Houston was almost guaranteed to host another one in 2008 or 2009.

Now, as far as this North Texas SB is going....it's been a failure. This place has been pretty much dead. No one is leaving their little corner of the Metroplex, because it is too dangerous to drive on the freeways, especially the ones that go up bigger hills. Cars make it about half way up, and start sliding back down. Many accidents this morning with cars in freeway interchanges, sliding back down them and hitting other cars or the concrete barriers. A lot of the parties during the week had been canceled and many flights have been delayed or totally canceled today heading into DFW or Love Field. Hopefully Saturday is a blast, but everything is so spread out that people now have to really choose between Fort Worth or Dallas. Before, you could have probably spent about the same amount of time between the two places. With everything shut down this week, options are limited. Celebrities have seen prices for their parties go from $500 a ticket down to $100 a ticket due to too many spread out parties and the weather. And the bad part is, they expect a "wintry mix" in the early afternoon on SB Sunday. Hey, the NFL can be glad that they won't be in North Texas next week, when on Wednesday, and even worse weather storm is suppose to hit.