San Francisco Bay Area Will Host Super Bowl L in 2016
The Bay Area will host Superbowl L in 2016. The decision, voted on by NFL team owners today, was not much of a surprise. The league has been eager to reward franchises that build new stadiums-- the 49ers, whose $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium will open in 2014, follow in the recent footsteps of the Dallas Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts, and the New York Giants/Jets. Perhaps just as important, San Francisco's competition for SBL, Miami, was effectively doomed when it failed to get stadium renovation funding passed through the Florida state legislature.
The 49ers won the Super Bowl the last time the Bay hosted one.
Local officials have already painted the gleaming picture: a Super Bowl village in downtown, shuttles transporting people to and from the Santa Clara complex, Wi-Fi provided by Google, green energy all round, and "cashless" concession stands equipped with Silicon Valley's latest products.
It will be the Bay's first Super Bowl since 1985, which was played in Stanford Stadium. The 49ers won that Super Bowl.
But this is not just any Super Bowl. This is Super Bowl 50. This is the Golden Super Bowl in the Golden State. This is the Super Bowl of Super Bowls.
San Francisco took the honors with some help from its competitors' stumbles. For some years, many people considered Los Angeles the odds-on favorite to host Super Bowl L. L.A. hosted the first Super Bowl in 1967, so it seemed fitting for the city to host the 50th anniversary of the big game. But L.A. still has no NFL team and still has no viable stadium plan.
Miami, though, does have an NFL team. The city is experienced in hosting Super Bowls, it's done it 10 times before, tied with New Orleans for the most. And while it has a stadium, that stadium is shitty. The NFL warned Miami that the city would have to guarantee serious renovation if it wanted a Super Bowl. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said those improvements would cost $350 million. But he didn't want to pay for that by himself. As the Miami Herald reported:
Legislative approval was required to hold a May 14 referendum asking voters about the stadium renovation; the election was canceled Friday night. The Dolphins were hoping to get $289 million over 30 years from an increase in the mainland Miami-Dade hotel-tax rate, and $90 million over the same period in state sales-tax subsidies.
That legislation failed to get through the state House. So Miami was a long-shot to beat out SF for Super Bowl L. NFL owners also voted Houston over Miami for Super Bowl LI today.
Cal, Stanford and San Jose State have offered their facilities for the Super Bowl teams to practice. In SF's proposal, the Moscone Center would host the NFL Experience (it's like a football-themed carnival thing), with the "Super Bowl Village" stretching from the Ferry Building through Union Square.
As is the case with many other NFL teams, San Francisco's football stadium is not in San Francisco. So, like with Dallas and New York, most of the festivities will take place miles away from the game's suburban site, in the region's headlining city.
Let's just hope San Francisco can handle one of the most extravagant events in American history better than it has so far managed a sailing championship.