NFL Awards Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles
By Burt Carey
Are you ready for some expensive football?
Make that billions. The National Football League on Tuesday awarded Super Bowls to three cities that have invested – or will invest – billions of dollars upgrading or building new stadiums in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Atlanta’s new $1.4 billion stadium will open in 2017, just two years before the city hosts its third Super Bowl. Miami is spending $500 million to renovate its stadium and will play host in 2020 to its record 11th Super Bowl. And Los Angeles, which just four months ago was granted approval to bring the Rams back to Southern California, will soon begin building a state-of-the-art, $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood that will be ready for the 2019 season and the 2021 Super Bowl.
The three cities join a growing list of major metropolitan areas that invested big on new stadiums in recent years and were also awarded Super Bowls. Super Bowl 50 was held earlier this year in Santa Clara, California, in the 49ers new stadium, and Minneapolis is set to host the 2018 Super Bowl in a new stadium that will open this year.
New Orleans and Tampa Bay were passed up by NFL owners, who decide where the NFL’s marquee game is played each year.
Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium is under construction next door to the Falcons current home, the Georgia Dome. It will feature a retractable roof. Atlanta’s Super Bowl bid of $46 million will be funded with a mix of private and public funds, including $10 million in sales tax relief that was passed by the Georgia Legislature earlier this year, $16 million from the city’s hotel-motel tax, and $20 million from corporate donations.
Atlanta last hosted the Super Bowl in 2000, when a major ice storm impacted the week’s activities. The new stadium will also host the January 2018 national college football championship game and the NCAA Final Four in April 2020.
Miami was awarded Super Bowl 54, which will be played at the conclusion of the NFL’s 100th anniversary season. Fellow NFL owners gave Dolphins owner Stephen Ross the nod based on his pledge to spend a half-billion dollars, and after hearing a pitch from Hall of Fame running back Larry Csonka.
“I want a Super Bowl winner,” Ross told the Miami Herald. “That’s my legacy. That’s what I would love. This is great for the community. I didn’t win anything. The community won. I think that’s what’s important, to bring everybody together. That’s why you own a football team, to bring South Florida together and make them proud. It makes South Florida proud.”
For Los Angeles, Super Bowl 55 will be the first NFL title game held there since 1993, when the Rose Bowl in Pasadena hosted it. Out of football’s biggest event for the past two-and-a-half decades, the LA contingent put together a strong bid for its 8th Super Bowl.
“The Los Angeles region is built to host the Super Bowl,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts said in a combined statement. “We helped forge this great American tradition at the Coliseum when it began in 1967; and we’re thrilled to bring it back where it belongs for Super Bowl LV.”
Source: Baret News