BOSTON—The Super Bowl is coming back to Houston. NFL owners chose Houston over Miami Tuesday to host the 51st Super Bowl in 2017.
“It’s going to be a wonderful celebration. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone from around to world to Houston,” said Texans owner Bob McNair.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker agreed.
“We’re gonna pull out all the stops, and the NFL will work with us to create really a phenomenal fan experience,” she said.
Houston hosted the 2004 NFL championship game at Reliant Stadium, leaving football fans hungry for another one.
The 2004 game was a reward for building Reliant Stadium. But this time around, the city won on its own merits.
“Our city and county did a fantastic job hosting the game in 2004, and with the developments that have been made over the last 10 years, Houston is now, more than ever, a destination for worldwide sporting events,” said Janice Schmees Burke with the Houston Sports Authority.
The Texans did promise the NFL to add a giant scoreboard at Reliant.
“We’re gonna have the largest scoreboard in the country, but I didn’t tell Jerry Jones that until after he voted,” McNair joked.
The Houston Super Bowl Bid Committee, led by Chairman Ric Campo, submitted the final bid to each of the NFL team owners on May 8. The formal presentation was made Tuesday by Campo and NRG Energy CEO, David Crane. Secretary James Baker, serving as Honorary Chair for the committee, delivered a compelling video message.
“Our bid is first class,” stated Baker. “Super Bowl LI in Houston will make the NFL very, very proud.”
“We’ve accomplished what we set out to do,” said Campo. “Thanks to the support and efforts of Mayor Parker, Judge Emmett and the entire Houston Bid Committee, we’re bringing another Super Bowl back to Houston. Our plans for the international celebration leading up to the game will create an unprecedented fan experience for Super Bowl LI.”
“As a member of the bid committee, I couldn’t be more proud of the time and effort put in by our entire community. The leadership Ric Campo provided on the committee is second-to-none,” Burke said.”Now, we begin the planning process for the next several years to ensure our destination delivers the very best experience for participating teams, members of the NFL, fans, and citizens of our region.”
Details of the 10-day festival, to be called “Super Bowl El Centro”, and other plans will be revealed tomorrow in Houston during a press conference and Committee celebration.
NFL owners awarded the 2016 game to San Francisco. It will be held at the 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is due to open for the 2014 season.
The only previous Super Bowl played in northern California was at Stanford Stadium in 1985.
San Francisco also beat out Miami, which was stymied in its bid to stage an 11th Super Bowl when the Florida Legislature did not support financing to renovate Sun Life Stadium.