Friday, December 19, 2014

Lurie: Will push for Philly Super Bowl if New York's OK

PHOENIX -- Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said Monday he is enthusiastic about the New York-area Super Bowl next year, and will push for Philadelphia to host one, if the New York venture is a success.

Lurie: Will push for Philly Super Bowl if New York's OK

Jeffrey Lurie speaks with reporters at NFL meetings on March 18, 2013. (Les Bowen/Staff)
Jeffrey Lurie speaks with reporters at NFL meetings on March 18, 2013. (Les Bowen/Staff)

PHOENIX -- Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said Monday he is enthusiastic about the New York-area Super Bowl next year, and will push for Philadelphia to host one, if the New York venture is a success.

"Growing up in Boston, I went to more great games in snow conditions," Lurie said during the lunch recess at the NFL Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel. "Some of the most memorable games I've ever been to were very difficult and wonderful conditions. I would have no fear of it snowing -- as long as there's no public safety issue that day, I think it would be great if it's snowing a bit."

Asked then if he would seek a roman-numeraled game for Philly, Lurie said. "I will. Yes, I will. If it's a success. New York will help us."

Lurie also said he went to West Virginia when new coach Chip Kelly worked out quarterback Geno Smith because "it's an important decision ... we haven't had a really high draft pick in 14 years ... It's a very important decision for us if we stay at No. 4 (overall) there. When you select a quarterback, it's a very big decision, so you want to have every piece of information you can, have as many eyes on it ... it was an important thing."

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Asked when he last went to a prospect workout, Lurie said it was 14 years ago, when the Eagles were in the process of drafting Donovan McNabb second overall. One difference there would be that most observers pegged McNabb near the top of the first round. Very few analysts see Smith as worthy of being drafted there, though he has generated a lot of buzz in the past few weeks.

Lurie added that West Virginia was one of three states he'd never been to before attending the workout in Morgantown. North and South Dakota were the other two.

Lurie said the focus of the morning meeting was enhancing the fan experience in the stadium, since the experience watching at home has gotten so much better through technology (and is way cheaper). "At all times and in all ways, engage the fans and maximize the enjoyment of the fans in stadiums," Lurie said. "Also the attachment of fans to the teams year-round, really engaging the fans as members of the Philadelphia Eagles."

Of course, some Eagles fans feel less engaged by the announcement last Friday that the team no longer will hold training camp in the intimate setting of Lehigh. The four or five fan events team president Don Smolenski said are planned for Lincoln Financial Field might be available to more fans than Lehigh, but the setting won't be nearly as cozy.

"I loved the fan engagement (at Lehigh)," Lurie said. "With NovaCare being one of the top facilities, teams are really tending toward (holding camp at home). We're really one of the last holdouts. Teams are trending toward bringing it all to their home facility, and finding ways, as Don has done, to really have some great fan engagement during that process, in the stadium. Bringing it into the city, which we haven't done for a while (1943), so that'll be exciting, too. Real exciting."

When Smolenski spoke of the move last week, he seemed careful to not tie the training camp move to Kelly. But Lurie indicated Kelly and other coaching candidates preferred camp at NovaCare. Many observers felt in recent years, the Eagles only trekked to Lehigh because former coach Andy Reid insisted upon it.

"When we interviewed coaches, we asked every coach what would they prefer, because we tend to defer to the coach on this," Lurie said. "With every coach we interviewed, I think, they wanted training camp to be -- if you have a great facility -- to be seamless, with the facility the players are going to be training in year-round."

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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