The decision doesn't come as a huge surprise, as Atlanta will unveil the $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017. Owner Arthur Blank spoke about winning the bid for the event, per a press release on the official website of Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
It's a wonderful day for our city and franchise and I know the people of Atlanta and all of Georgia will deliver a spectacular Super Bowl celebration in 2019. Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be an outstanding venue for the game and with all of the attractions and hotel rooms within a mile of the stadium this is going to be the most walkable Super Bowl ever. Atlanta has truly transformed since it last hosted the Super Bowl in 2000 and I'm grateful to the NFL and team owners for this very special opportunity.
Meanwhile, Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, will be pleased with South Florida's victorious bid, per Rapoport:
The NFL posted Miami's reaction to the news:
Los Angeles' winning bid, meanwhile, corresponds with the Rams making the move from St. Louis to L.A. in 2016 and the plans for a $2.6 billion stadium expected to be ready for 2019.
Indeed, cities that build new stadiums or spend heavily on upgrades and renovations are often rewarded the NFL's biggest event. This year was no exception.
Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida highlighted how much teams with winning bids have spent on stadiums and renovations:
As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote, "Once the NFL gave the 2018 Super Bowl to Minneapolis over New Orleans, the unwritten rules to the game became clearer than ever: Build a stadium and you get a game, even if you are a cold-weather venue vying against the best city in the country."
The NFL on Twitter provided a more thorough explanation for how the voting process actually works at the meetings:
The competing cities go the extra mile in the effort to land their Super Bowl bid, as Andrew Brandt of ESPN noted:
The next two Super Bowls are scheduled for Houston (2017) and Minneapolis (2018).
While the winning cities will be thrilled to host a Super Bowl, there are questions as to just how profitable such an endeavor is for urban centers. Jason Notte of MarketWatch.com suggested in February 2016 that cities regularly lose money by hosting the big game.
He used examples such as San Francisco, which was only reimbursed "$104,000 for the $4.8 million in city services" it spent as the Super Bowl host during this year's big game as the major city closest to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
He also cited Glendale, Arizona, noting: "Last year, the city of Glendale, Arizona—home of the Arizona Cardinals—lost between $579,000 and $1.25 million hosting the Super Bowl, thanks to public safety and transportation costs. That was the second time the city hosted the Super Bowl, and it lost more than $1 million on its first attempt in 2008."
And then there was East Rutherford, New Jersey:
In 2014, the state of New Jersey gave a $7.5 million sales-tax rebate to the NFL after hosting the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J. New Jersey Transit estimated that it racked up $7.2 million in costs covering the extra Super Bowl ridership, but only made $1.6 million in ticket sales and ad revenue. That's not great for a state facing a $806 million deficit. Those factors — plus the fact that many of the host events (and much of the Host Committee money) went across the river to New York — made the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the group of businesses that's supposed to reap the benefits of the game's "economic impact," vote never to host the Super Bowl in the state again.
Not every city will have that same experience, of course, which is a major reason they aggressively bid on the games in the first place. The potential to host major events like the Super Bowl is often a selling point for urban centers when deciding to build lavish new stadiums in the first place. And an event of the magnitude of the Super Bowl has the opportunity to bring with it waves of tourism during the two weeks before the game.
That's surely the 2019-2021 hosts' viewpoint, at least.
Of course, the Super Bowl wasn't the only discussion taking place at the Spring League Meeting. For instance, the league made some tweaks to the instant-replay system, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer:
The owners were also expected to further discuss the potential for the Oakland Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas, per Judy Battista of NFL.com.
But the big announcement of the day was the placement of the Super Bowl. Atlanta, South Florida and Los Angeles will now begin preparations to host the biggest event in American sports.
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