NFL owners are in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 2016 Spring League Meeting and they will select later today the Super Bowl sites for 2019, 2020 and 2021 — Super Bowl LIII, Super Bowl LIV and Super Bowl LV, respectively.
Stephen Ross has gone above and beyond in his efforts to convince his fellow NFL owners that the Super Bowl should return to South Florida, and the big reward could come later today.
Owners are in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 2016 Spring League Meeting and they will select later today the Super Bowl sites for 2019, 2020 and 2021 — Super Bowl LIII, Super Bowl LIV and Super Bowl LV, respectively.
South Florida is competing against Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Tampa Bay. No area can be awarded more than one Super Bowl on Tuesday, meaning that three of the five areas will get one of the big games.
South Florida is tied with New Orleans for most Super Bowls hosted with 10, but hasn’t had one since 2010 when the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts to close out the 2009 season.
Highly respected national writer Peter King predicted in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that South Florida would land the 2020 game, sandwiched around Atlanta getting the 2019 game and Los Angeles landing the 2021 Super Bowl. The exact same prediction was made in a recent Los Angeles Times article.
The reason for optimism is the $450 million-plus stadium modernization Ross financed that is highlighted by four giant HD scoreboards and a canopy over most of the stands.
“We’re very excited about our chances,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee. “It’s definitely our most competitive bid ever, chiefly due to Stephen Ross’ $450 million modernization of the stadium.”
Barreto is part of the South Florida delegation in Charlotte, along with Ross and Bid Committee president Mike Zimmer. Also on hand is for Dolphins wide receiver Nat Moore and Dolphins Hall of Famer Larry Csonka, who will present the area’s bid Tuesday afternoon.
Ross will speak separately to owners on the region’s behalf, as will owners for competing cities. Immediately following, the 32 NFL owners’ votes will be tallied, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the winning cities live on the NFL Network from the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte.
“It used to be that there were four or five places where all the Super Bowls went and we were one of them,” Garfinkel said in a Q&A with fan sites Phin Maniacs, Phin Fanatics and The Phinsider. “Now there are so many modern stadiums and cities that recognize the value of having the Super Bowl and who are very aggressive in what they do to attract one. It’s just a much more competitive landscape.
“But now with Steve’s more than $450 million private investment we will have a world-class stadium that can compete for these events. There is no better place for a Super Bowl than South Florida and Mike Zimmer and Rodney Barreto and the rest of the South Florida Super Bowl Committee have worked hard put together a very impressive bid. I don’t take anything for granted, but I know we’ll be very competitive and I like our chances.”
The next two Super Bowls will be played in Houston and Minnesota.
If South Florida lands the 2020 Super Bowl, it would come in the 100th season of professional football.
The previous South Florida Super Bowls were Super Bowl II (Green Bay beat Oakland, 33-14); Super Bowl III (Jets beat Baltimore, 16-7); Super Bowl V (Baltimore beat Dallas, 16-13); Super Bowl X (Pittsburgh beat Dallas, 21-17); Super Bowl XIII (Pittsburgh beat Dallas, 35-31); Super Bowl XXIII (San Francisco beat Cincinnati 20-16); Super Bowl XXIX (San Francisco beat San Diego, 49-26); Super Bowl XXXIII (Denver beat Atlanta, 34-19); Super Bowl XLI (Indianapolis beat Chicago, 29-17); and Super Bowl XLIV (New Orleans beat Indianapolis, 31-17).
South Florida was among the finalists for Super Bowl 50 and Super Bowl LI, which were awarded to Santa Clara and Houston, respectively.
Barreto unveiled at a press conference in late January artist renderings of a Super Bowl Park and a Tailgate Town that would be constructed in downtown Miami should the Dolphins’ stadium be awarded a Super Bowl.
The venues would host concerts and other NFL-sponsored Super Bowl activities.
Barreto said that the NFL now insists on having a centralized location for its official Super Bowl events, a change from the past when it wanted things spread out throughout South Florida.
Nikki Grossman, a member of the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee and the president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, said there still would be plenty of events in Broward County outside of NFL-sponsored activities.
“There is nothing that South Florida can’t match, or even succeed, when it comes to delivering what the NFL, the owners and most important the fans are looking for,” Grossman said. “So bring it on, we’re ready for the Super Bowl our 11th time.
“The stadium is going to make the difference in our bid this year. We are a destination that knows how to host a Super Bowl with eyes closed. We’ve had a missing piece in that puzzle for a while and thanks to fellow Beach High graduate Steve Ross and the Miami Dolphins, that piece of the puzzle is now solid. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Super Bowl (again).”