NEW YORK – The city of Houston will soon learn whether or not they will play host to Super Bowl LI on Tuesday as NFL owners vote on host sites for the championship games for 2016 and 2017.
Houston’s Super Bowl LI Bid Committee made their pitch on Monday and will contend with the site, either San Francisco or Miami, which is not picked to host Super Bowl L.
San Francisco is considered a heavy favorite to host the league’s 50th Super Bowl with their new state-of-the-art stadium being constructed in Santa Clara. Miami’s bid took a big hit earlier this month after a proposal to upgrade Sun Life Stadium failed to get the necessary funding.
While Miami’s setback also hurt their chances of hosting Super Bowl LI and other championship games, Houston officials remain cautiously optimistic about their bid for the 2017 game.
According to the Associated Press, a three-quarters majority of the 32 owners is required on the first ballot Tuesday. If neither city gets that, then a simple majority wins on the next ballot.
Here is a look at what each city’s bid consists of:
Houston (finalist for Super Bowl LI)
The city of Houston has not hosted a Super Bowl since 2004 when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32-29, at Reliant Stadium. Both the league and city officials considered the event to be success. However, league officials expressed that they want to be able offer something new to fans if Houston is chosen as a host site again.
Since then, the Bayou City has added the Discovery Green downtown, which NFL officials said could serve as a centerpiece for Super Bowl activities. City officials also pitched that a new 1,000-room hotel is slated to open in 2016.
When NFL officials visited Houston in April, they said that they like that Reliant Stadium had plenty of parking and that it is isolated. Two giant video boards were installed at the stadium with the intention of enhancing the fan experience. The screens are 30 percent larger than the ones featured at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
San Francisco (finalist for Super Bowl L)
The San Francisco area is the leading candidate for Super Bowl L, but has not hosted the league’s championship game since 1985. It might seem fitting for California to host the 50th edition considering they hosted the very first Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
San Francisco’s bid features the new $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium being built 25 miles south of the city in Santa Clara. There will also be a new light rail that will connect the two cities.
Their plan is to make the game the “greenest” ever with a solar-powered stadium. Levi’s Stadium is set to be one of the most technically advanced facilities that will provide a more enhanced experience for fans.
Miami (finalist Super Bowl L)
South Florida has hosted 10 Super Bowls, which is tied with New Orleans, the site of the 2013 championship game. However, it may be awhile before Miami hosts the NFL’s big game.
Early this month, the Miami Dolphins were denied public money to upgrade Sun Life Stadium, which opened in 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium. Without the renovations, Miami’s pitch pales in comparison to San Francisco’s. Their proposal may not be strong enough for the 2017 game either when compared to Houston’s bid.
However, tradition, a great locale and warm winter weather are on Miami’s side, but there are no guarantees. In 2007 the last time Miami hosted the Super Bowl, it rained during the game as Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears.
The NFL’s decision to hold the 2014 Super Bowl at an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city also could open doors to other interested cities that have been, well, left out in the cold when it comes to the bidding process.