The Bay Area hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since the San Francisco 49ers knocked off the Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in 1985, but that will change in 2016 as the NFL announced that Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., will host Super Bowl L, according to Brian McCarthy of the NFL.
San Francisco selected to host Super Bowl L in 2016— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) May 21, 2013
McCarthy also tweeted that Houston will host Super Bowl LI in 2017.
Houston to host Super Bowl LI in 2017— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) May 21, 2013
Santa Clara was in direct competition with Miami, which has already hosted the Super Bowl on 10 occasions. The league decided on the Bay Area, though, as the 49ers' new stadium was obviously deemed to be worthy of hosting the biggest event in football.
After losing the Super Bowl L vote to Santa Clara, Miami contested Houston for the Super Bowl LI bid. Miami once again came out on the losing end, however, as Houston's Reliant Stadium will host the Super Bowl for a second time.
The 49ers, who have played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco since 1971, will officially move into their new Santa Clara digs in 2014, according to Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News. The state-of-the-art facilities will cost a total of $1.2 billion, so there is no question that the stadium should look immaculate when it hosts Super Bowl L.
Super Bowl L could provide Santa Clara with a huge economic boost if trends from the last three Super Bowls continue. According to Rick Jervis of USA Today, New Orleans expected an estimated $432 million from Super Bowl XLVII and the parties and events surrounding it. Indianapolis made more than $300 million for Super Bowl XLVI, and Dallas made about $600 million for Super Bowl XLV, according to the USA Today article.
Was awarding Santa Clara Super Bowl L the right decision?
While Santa Clara was an attractive option for the NFL regardless of other factors, Miami's failure to solidify its bid may have locked things up for the Bay Area.
According to Chris Roberts and Damian Trujillo of NBC Bay Area, Miami hurt its chances by struggling to come up with a resolution with regards to Sun Life Stadium. Armando Salguero reported the same in pointing out that the Dolphins lost out on both because of the stadium issue.
The NFL informed the city of Miami that Sun Life Stadium needed improvements, but lawmakers couldn't agree on a $350 million renovation project. That had to hinder Miami against both Santa Clara and Houston.
"No doubt the stadium issue basically killed South Florida's chance to land a Super Bowl today," NFL official just texted me.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 21, 2013
The host city for Super Bowl 51 in 2017 has been awarded to Houston. Miami loses on both counts today. No surprise.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 21, 2013
Renovations obviously aren't an issue for Santa Clara, as Levi's Stadium will be just two years old when it holds Super Bowl L. It's somewhat ironic that stadium issues may have sunk Miami's 2016 bid, as that is likely what has held back San Francisco over the past 28 years.
Earlier in the day, Rosenberg posted a picture on Twitter of the podium at which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would ultimately make the historic announcement:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes this podium at 2:30 EDT/11:30 PDT to announce Super Bowl host. Santa Clara? twitter.com/RosenbergMerc/…— Mike Rosenberg (@RosenbergMerc) May 21, 2013
The victory comes at a great time for both Santa Clara and the 49ers, as they could be on the verge of another golden age in the franchise's history. They have reached the NFC championship game two years in a row and fell just short of winning the Super Bowl last season against the Baltimore Ravens.
While the 49ers were unable to capture six Lombardi Trophy in team history last season, owner Jed York views landing Super Bowl L as a consolation prize of sorts, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
San Francisco has a talented roster with a great blend of youngsters and veterans, and the team should be a contender for the foreseeable future. The 49ers played in and won the last Bay Area Super Bowl, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see something similar happen in 2016.
Now that the Bay Area is once again a player when it comes to Super Bowl bidding, the NFL appears to have more options than ever moving forward. Even cold-weather cities are in the running now, as Super Bowl XLVIII will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to close the upcoming season.
Earning the right to host the Super Bowl is always a huge accomplishment and a major coup, but it seems extra special for the Bay Area as its residents have been waiting a very long time for the Super Bowl to make its return.
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