The National Football League kicked off a charitable giving program Friday ahead of next year's Super Bowl.

Governor Chris Christie signs a helmet for Ava Park-Matt, 8, of Hoboken during the Super Bowl XLVIII Legacy / NFL Play 60 giving back to the community program at the Boys and Girls Club in Hoboken (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

The league and the New York/New Jersey host committee is giving $2 million to area charities. The money will be distributed by the committee's Snowflake Foundation and will improve sports facilities for young people, including in areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy in October.

Gov. Chris Christie, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and owners and players from the New York Giants and Jets made the announcement at the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club.

"You don't want to sit here and listen to me," Christie said to dozens of children who came to get a glimpse of Jets players Vladimir Ducasse and Hayden Smith and Giants Mark Herzlich and Steve Weatherford. "You want to play with the Jets and the Giants."

The foundation rebuilt the floor of the club's gym, adding a Super Bowl XLVII logo.

Goodell said the league and host committees tailor their charitable giving to the community around each host site. The foundation will give money to youth sports facilities around New York and New Jersey.

"We're going to be doing it with a particular focus on those areas that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy," Goodell told reporters.

He and Christie still disagree on one major point: Christie's push to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey.

In February a federal judge blocked New Jersey from implementing sports betting, saying a federal law limiting it to four states is constitutional.

"We obviously oppose it. We fought it from a legal standpoint and we're pleased with the decisions to date so far," Goodell said. "We do not think legalized sports gambling is appropriate."

Goodell said the league is constantly looking at its security plan but would not elaborate on any changes in light of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"We are always adapting our security plans based on the potential risk," Goodell said.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)