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Super Bowl Practice at Jets Center Offers Opportunities

Some businesses and fans wonder what the impact will be of having one of the Super Bowl 2014 teams practice at Park Avenue facility.

Football fans, local businesses and law enforcement officials all are trying to gauge the impact of having one of next year's Super Bowl teams practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Park Avenue ahead of the Feb. 2 game.

Super Bowl 2014 will be the first Super Bowl ever played in New Jersey.

Could it be a business boost? The practice means an influx of media and fans looking for places to stay and eat and things to do. Plus, there could be other, less obvious, business opportunities. At this year's Super Bowl in New Orleans, for example, local merchants helped the NFL acquire 100 feet of drapes so the opposing teams couldn't see each other when their practice times overlapped.

Florham Park Councilman Charles Malone said during the borough governing body's most recent meeting the local practice could present opportunities for businesses. The Madison Chamber of Commerce recently passed along information about a Super Bowl program called "Business Connect," which describes itself as a program that identifies growth opportunities for businesses owned by women and minorities.

Will fans have any access to practice? Madison resident, Jets fan and football blogger Stephen Mindnich, who has attended open practices at the Jets facility, said it would be nice if there was a low-key practice open to the public. 

Florham Park Recreation Director Adam Lieb said involving the local community in some way would go a long way in building anticipation for the Super Bowl and pride in the community.

"It's very exciting that the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center will be used as a practice facility for one of the 2014 Super Bowl teams," Lieb said. "I would hope that there will be an opportunity for the residents of Florham Park, especially our youth football players and volunteer coaches, to participate in some way in the festivities and practices leading up to the big game."

Weather likely will be a factor for the practices and the game. There could be a blizzard. It could be frigid. The team could want to practice indoors, but probably will want to practice outside, too.

If this year's Super Bowl is any indication, the practice schedule could be shrouded in secrecy entirely.

Regardless of whether it's open to the public, "You know people are going to try to get over there," Mindnich said.

Security. Florham Park Police Capt. Robert Treiber said the police department is aware of next year's practice and would be working with the event's security officials.

Mindnich said he expects security will be tighter compared to other community and fan events held at the Jets Center.

"The NFL runs the Super Bowl," he said. "It's like a fine-tuned piece of equipment, they run everything from soup to nuts."

Next year's Super Bowl is expected to bring some extra buzz to the area surrounding the practice and the game. And, if the AFC team practicing for the Super Bowl is the Jets themselves?

"Obviously, if it was the Jets it would be out of control," Mindnich said. "Obviously, the chances of that happening are slim to none."

The Jets' first and only Super Bowl appearance was Super Bowl III in 1969, which the team won.


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