Here is the full transcript of the Q&A reporters held earlier Sunday with Giants President John Mara. To me, there are some fascinating details in here.
Q: So where are you guys right now?
A: We're on the plane taking off from Kansas City to Detroit in a few minutes.
Q: Can you just give us a little insight as to what the process was to finally determine to move the game to Detroit?
A: We got the message at about five o'clock this morning saying that the dome had collapsed and there was no way to get it repaired in time to play at the dome. Then we looked at the option of playing at the University of Minnesota but at some point this morning that was ruled out because of the amount of snow that they had there and because the stadium had pretty much been shut down since their last home game. They didn't feel that they could get it back and running to play a game there tomorrow night. There were a lot of other issues like the snow on the field there, the college hash marks not the pro hash marks, and they didn't have instant replay capability. They didn't have TV equipment out there. There were a lot of other issues to worry about, and then the league considered a number of other stadiums around the country that had a dome. Detroit seemed to be the most logical, I think primarily because it was fairly close by and Fox already had their TV equipment out there to broadcast the Lions game. The commissioner ultimately made the decision to play the game in Detroit, and we were fine with that.
Q: Any talk of moving the game back to the Meadowlands?
A: We suggested that several times, but that didn't get very far. The one idea that we weren't crazy about was playing at the University of Minnesota because of the weather and it being minus-11 tomorrow night would've created a lot of issues for us. We don't have our cold weather equipment out here with us. Plus from a safety standpoint, I thought that was unnecessary. Fortunately, that became academic when they told the league they would not have the stadium ready to play tomorrow night.
Q: The weather in Detroit isn't supposed to be the greatest either, do you think that was taken into consideration at all?
A: Yes. They told us at the Detroit airport and at the airline that yes, they have some weather there but they believe we can arrive there without any problems. Of course, they kind of told us that yesterday and it didn't quite work out that way. We plan on leaving in a few minutes and we're told that we won't have that problem.
Q: What's the mood of the team?
A: They've been in great spirits. They've taken it in stride very well. Most of them have been laughing and joking about it. They're taking it about as well as you could possibly expect, and that includes the head coach, by the way.
Q: Can you remember a more logistically difficult trip?
A: I know that this has happened various times in the past but it's been awhile. The one year (2003) we were going to New Orleans and we had to land in Mobile, Alabama and bus over there. This one has had more challenges than I can ever remember because we were stranded in the airport yesterday not knowing where to go or what to do and then we made the call to get everyone out of the airport and into a hotel. We were staying the night and really didn't have any further instructions. Our original plan was to fly into Minnesota this morning and play the game as scheduled, and we were told at some point last night that with the snow on the roof of the dome that it wasn't going to be available until Monday night. Obviously, things have changed quite a bit over the last 24 hours.
Q: With the moving of the game, how much is this going to affect Minnesota? Are they going to lose a boatload of money on this?
A: I assume there will be some losses, yeah. I don't know what their insurance policies are or what their deal is with the Metrodome commission. That stuff I'm not privy to but I have to believe that there will be some losses involved here. I think it certainly fosters their argument that they need a new stadium. For this to happen is just pretty incredible.
Q: This makes for a short week preparing for the Eagles. Has Tom expressed any concerns about that?
A: Yeah. Obviously we would have liked to have a full week but what are you going to do? There was nothing - it could not have been avoided. Right now this game is the most important game so you can't worry about the Eagles just yet. You never like to play on a short week, but you have to and this is one of the occasions where it really just couldn't have been avoided.
Q: Any way to anticipate how many people will be at the game tomorrow night?
A: I really have no idea. What they're planning to do is everybody who goes to the Lions-Packers game today can present their tickets and go to the game tomorrow night. Hopefully everybody that had tickets to today's Giants-Vikings game can present their tickets and get preferred seating. Actually anybody that shows up at the box office tomorrow during the day in Detroit can get a free ticket to the game. I just have no idea. We've been in this situation before when we played the Saints at home after the hurricane. Most of our fans attended that game, but I really don't have a feel for how many people. The fact that the tickets are free is a good thing and hopefully we will get some people.
Q: Making the game available on Sunday Ticket outside of the market - did you have to fight for that?
A: No, it wasn't something that we had to fight for. They are making it available on Sunday Ticket and obviously on Fox locally in those markets. I'm not sure what went on with all that. I know we're still trying to have some discussions.
Q: A lot of resistance from the team on the original idea to travel to Minnesota yesterday morning?
A: No, we actually preferred to play at noon. We even told the airline that if they could get us in early this morning and that we'd be able to get to the airport and to the stadium in plenty of time to play the game. That was our preferred option, but that was not going to happen because of the snow on the roof of the dome and obviously they were right.
Q: Has this incident affected your thinking about the Super Bowl in 2014?
A: Well we're not going to have a dome so we don't have to worry about anything collapsing, but no it hasn't. The Super Bowl is four years away. I'm just worried about the game tomorrow night right now.
Q: Has the team been able to physically do anything?
A: No. They haven't done anything physically. We were contemplating asking the Kansas City Chiefs if we could use their bubble. Not that that had ever happened before - one team asking another to use their indoor practice facility. We ultimately made the determination that there would be a window to get to Detroit so we decided to try to get out as soon as we could.
Q: Did you talk to the Chiefs?
A: We never made that call. The airline told us that we could try to get out and we decided to take advantage and try to get there. I don't even think that they'll do anything physically. There'll probably be some sort of walk thru in the ballroom of the hotel, but I know that is a concern of the coach that they've been sitting around for a couple of days not doing too much, but it is what it is. Sometimes you have the circumstances and you just have to deal with it.
Q: Have you asked the Lions to use their facility when you get to Detroit?
A: We have thought about doing that and I think I will talk to the coaches about doing that in a while but I think depending on what time we get in it might be better to just stay at the hotel, but they have a game out there this afternoon so I just don't know when we would be able to do that.