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Ranking the Best Cities to Host Super Bowl LII

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystFebruary 7, 2013

Ranking the Best Cities to Host Super Bowl LII

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    The dust has barely settled around the city of New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVII, yet already cities across America are looking to the future.

    As Jeff Duncan of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, eight cities (including New Orleans) are expected to throw their hats into the ring to host Super Bowl LII in 2018.

    Those cities run the gamut from the two that have hosted the most Super Bowls to one that never has.

    Here's a look at how those cities stack up against one another in the race to host football's biggest game.

8. Denver, Colorado

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    What chance (if any) Denver, Colorado has of hosting Super Bowl XLII depends a great deal on what happens at Super Bowl XLVIII, just under a year from now in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

    On the one hand, Denver has the infrastructure and hotel rooms to accommodate a Super Bowl, and the city showed by successfully hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention that they are capable of pulling off large events.

    However, playing the Super Bowl in Denver would mean risking wintry weather, and if Super Bowl XLVIII ends up being a disaster, the odds of the NFL doing that again anytime soon will be zero.

7. Houston, Texas

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    The next three cities on this list aren't listed as low as they are because of any knock on the cities themselves.

    As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports Houston, San Francisco and Miami are believed to be the frontrunners to host Super Bowl L and Super Bowl LI.

    Two of those towns will be knocked from the running, while the "odd man out" will fall down the list.

    The leading candidate to be that odd man is Houston.

    While Houston is a thriving metropolis of over two million people and successfully hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, it can't offer the glitz and glamour of South Beach or the brand new stadium being built in the Bay Area.

6. San Francisco, California

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    It's been quite some time since the Bay Area played host to a Super Bowl.

    The last Super Bowl played in Northern California was in 1985, but that's about to change, and there's one very large and very expensive reason why.

    A new 68,500 seat, $1.2 billion open-air stadium is under construction in Santa Clara, California and is expected to be ready in time for the 2014 season.

    Add that shiny new venue to all the other amenities and attractions that San Francisco has to offer, and you get a very appealing Super Bowl destination.

5. Miami, Florida

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    No city in America has hosted more Super Bowls than Miami.

    South Florida has played host to 10 Super Bowl games to date, with the last being the New Orleans Saints' victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.

    The allure of Miami is simple. Great weather (assuming it doesn't rain), the nightlife and the beaches make it not only a host city, but also a destination that tourists and players alike revel in flocking to.

    In fact, the only thing that will probably stop Miami from hosting Super Bowl LII is the that the city is a virtual lock to host one of the two Super Bowls preceding it.

4. Dallas, Texas

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    The city of Dallas, Texas won't be eligible to host the Super Bowl until 2018, since Super Bowl XLV was just played there. But back in November, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was in favor of Dallas getting another Super Bowl according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN.

    However, the Green Bay Packers win over the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't exactly go off without a hitch.

    Bad weather plagued the Dallas area before the game and a seating fiasco marred the game itself. With those bumps in the road still fresh in many minds and stiff competition for hosting rights, it may be a few more years before Dallas gets another crack at football's biggest game.

3. Indianapolis, Indiana

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    Many people scoffed when the city of Indianapolis was given the rights the host Super Bowl XLVI.

    However, the game went off without any significant problems, and both the media and fans in attendance hailed the efficiency of the proceedings and the friendliness of the locals.

    Now Indianapolis is heading back into the SB fray, and while Indy faces something of a uphill battle against cities with more cachet, Super Bowl committee member Allison Melangton believes Indianapolis can once again rise to the occasion according to Chris Proffitt of ABC-6 TV in Indianapolis.

    "They [the NFL] want to do new and different things, and so if we want to host a Super Bowl, we've got to do new and innovative things too to attract them,"

2. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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    Stop shivering.

    By the time Super Bowl LII rolls around, it will have been over 25 years since the Twin Cities played host to a Super Bowl, and if Minneapolis is going to end that dry spell, there's one massive stumbling block.

    The $975 million stadium planned for downtown Minneapolis has to go from artist renderings to reality.

    Granted, some folks grimace any time cold weather cities are mentioned as Super Bowl hosts, but Roger Goodell has shown with the Indianapolis and New Jersey games that he's not averse to the idea.

    If the stadium gets built—considering the long drought since last hosting a SB—then Minneapolis could vault to the head of the line to host Super Bowl LII.

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

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    Unfortunately, once Minneapolis gets to the front of the line, they're going to find that New Orleans is already there, celebrating being awarded the game for an 11th time.

    Yes, New Orleans just hosted the Super Bowl, a game marred by a 34-minute power failure.

    However, Roger Goodell has already stated that he expects the game to be back in New Orleans soon according to The Times-Picayune, and New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu even joked about the power gaffe Tuesday quipping, "Who hasn't blacked out in New Orleans before?"

    New Orleans also has an ace up their sleeves where Super Bowl LII is concerned.

    The city will celebrate its tricentennial in 2018, and tying the Super Bowl in with that yearlong party will no doubt be very appealing to the NFL.

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