NFL owners sent a strong message Tuesday with its awarding of three future Super Bowl sites: If you build it, they will come.
In results that surprised absolutely no one, owners voted Tuesday to play the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls in Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, respectively. New Orleans and Tampa Bay, the other cities that were considered, have not undertaken any major stadium projects.
Atlanta and L.A. are building stadiums at costs of more than $1 billion – estimates have the L.A. construction exceeding $2.6 billion as the world’s most expensive stadium. Meanwhile, Miami owner Stephen Ross put up $500 million for renovations to the Dolphins’ stadium, highlighted by a partial roof.
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When one of the Miami bid officials thanked Ross for his $450 million contribution, Ross interrupted him and said: “I wish it was $450 million.”
The 2020 game will be the 11th in Miami, pushing the city past New Orleans for the most in Super Bowl history.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said rewarding owners who make big capital investments – and taxpayers who help fund the stadiums – is good business for the NFL.
“The other owners, they realize to build a stadium today is a huge capital investment. The league does its part to support it. But it requires a great public-private partnership to do it,” Blank said following the vote at the Ballantyne Hotel.
“I think the message it also sends to communities that are considering other NFL stadiums, this is going to be important in terms of Super Bowls. A Super Bowl is – if not the biggest event – one of the biggest events in the world in terms of a sports opportunity. Probably that and the World Cup.”
Blank said he texted Falcons coach Dan Quinn after Tuesday’s announcement and said he wanted Atlanta to be in the 2019 game – “and sooner.”
“And that’s how (Quinn) feels as well,” Blank added. “We would like to be a competitor at a Super Bowl level prior to that. But obviously playing in your own stadium is a unique opportunity.”
No team has ever played in a Super Bowl in its stadium, although the San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium) and L.A. Rams (Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl) played in their home markets.
Future Super Bowl sites
Cities that have been awarded Super Bowls by the NFL:
2021: Los Angeles