The seating capacity of Soldier Field is one thing working strongly against Chicago hosting a Super Bowl. The stadium lost 5,000 seats in the remodeling, which had the feel of a white flag on a Super Bowl at the time, apart from any feelings about the overall revised Soldier Field.
The stadium has increased the seating to about 63,500 since then. But the capacity on the field is a bigger problem.
The Soldier Field turf is a tiresome, repeating annual story. Its 2011 iteration began during training camp last year with the canceled Friday night practice for fans to watch.
The Super Bowl is the NFLs showcase; the Soldier Field turf is an embarrassment to the city. Those are hard to reconcile.
What it suggests indirectly is leverage for the Bears, or rather for the Park District. If Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants the game, the league can be expected to demand a world-class playing surface.
True Chicago politicking would have the situation being a way for the City to kick in for field turf. The Mayor can use the rationale of money brought into the local economy by a Super Bowl would more than offset the Citys share of paying for a pro teams playing surface.
In any case, the overall is a win-win for Emanuel.
If Chicago gets the game, its a catch that would have made Hizzoner proud.
If Chicago doesnt, Emanuel will always be the guy who made the pitch and garnered some attention for the City even with the request itself.
Dont look for Barack Obama to weigh in too heavily with the NFL, even with his Chicago connection.
For one thing, he may not be President by the time the next available game is played (2016). He may not be President when the 2016 game is even assigned by the NFL.
If Obama takes one citys side over, say, Cleveland, Buffalo or Pittsburgh, he may irritate some votes in those towns at a time when Mitt Romney is in a position to make him pay for lost support.
Best guess: POTUS will express his liking the idea of a Super Bowl in Chicago but Commissioner Roger Goodells NFL phone wont be ringing with a push from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.