Super Bowl host city says NFL has snubbed them
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (CNN) — Super Bowl 48 is less than a week away now, and the NFL and fans are gearing up for the big game.
It’s set to take place this Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
But the city's mayor says there seems to be some confusion about that.
"Tell them they better get a geography lesson," Mayor James Cassella told CNN.
It’s a small town, just nine thousand people.
A detail that looks to some as if, it's been overlooked.
"I was just talking to a radio host in Seattle, and he didn't even realize the stadium is in New Jersey until a couple of weeks ago. That says something," Mayor Cassella said.
In New York City, the NFL is transforming Times Square into Super Bowl Boulevard.
But, in East Rutherford, there isn't a single banner in sight, only one small sign that the mayor had to order himself.
And, because it uses the trademarked phrase "Super Bowl," the NFL could object.
CNN: "What happens if you're told to take it down?"
"I think it would be pretty dopey of them to tell us to take it down," Mayor Cassella explained.
CNN: "Do you feel like you're left out in the cold here at all?"
“I'm used to it," Cassella said.
CNN: "That kind of sounds like a New York/New Jersey rivalry!"
"Yeah, you're kind of used to it. You accept it, life goes on," Cassella told CNN
CNN: "Hey, is there a little New York/New Jersey rivalry going on here? How would you answer that?"
"Well, my PR answer is I'm sure glad I'm next to the biggest city in the world, cause that's how I make my living. My
New Jersey answer is I'd like to kick em in the shins," said Jim Kirkos, of Meadowland Chamber of Commerce.
Town officials say there's been no effort to promote East Rutherford, but the NFL insists that New Jersey isn't getting the short straw, telling CNN:
"There are more activities in New Jersey than New York."
Players are staying in Jersey City, training and media appearances will be held in state.
Come game day, the mayor says his town will feel proud, even if East Rutherford has taken a back seat, even though the mayor will have to find his own seat.
"I also will probably be sitting in my lounge chair... on my recliner watching the game," Cassella said.