The city of Houston has submitted its bid to host Super Bowl LI in 2017, and they feel pretty good about their chances.
Houston’s competition will be San Francisco or Miami – the city that fails to get the coveted Super Bowl L.
League owners will vote on both Super Bowls on May 22 in Boston.
For now, Houston officials are confident but cautious because they know there are more steps in the process to host the first Super Bowl at Reliant Stadium since 2004, when New England defeated Carolina.
“We feel really good about our chances,” said Ric Campo, chairman of the host committee. “We believe Houston will be hard to beat.”
Campo, chairman and chief executive officer of Camden Properties, pointed out the numerous improvements the city has made or will make before 2017.
“The east-west light rail will be completed in 2014,” he said. “We’re building a new 1,000-room Marriott Marquis that’ll be a bookend to the Hilton-Americas. We’ve got Discovery Green.
“The NFL requires at least 19,000 rooms in the city. We have more than 20,000, including 6,000 downtown.
“For fans and visiting teams, it’s going to be the ultimate experience. We’ve got world-class buildings and incredible venues for the NFL Experience and Super Bowl Village.”
Don’t forget our nationally-known restaurant scene now, too. It’s a little funny to think how much has changed since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. We’ve been confident about our chances from the get go. We’ll see if our optimism is warranted.
The general feeling around the NFL is that San Francisco, with its new stadium in Santa Clara, will beat out South Florida for Super Bowl L. South Florida is trying to get $400 million for stadium improvements.
At the league’s spring meetings in Phoenix last month, officials from South Florida met with the owners and asked for help.
“The mayor of Miami was trying to get the NFL to make a commitment that if they passed this referendum there, they’d get a Super Bowl,” Texans owner Bob McNair said in Phoenix. “The league would not make that kind of commitment.
“They had no assurance that if we voted them a Super Bowl that they would get the money. I think the governmental bodies in South Florida are going to have to move first and say, ‘OK, we’re going to approve the stadium, and we’ll take our chances on the Super Bowl.’
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Miami that will impact our chances of getting the Super Bowl. If they don’t get improvements to their stadium, I think that’ll work against them.”
You would think that after the debacle that was the financing of Marlins Stadium that the Dolphins would be tarred and feathered for making such a request, but this is Florida. You have to grade on a curve.
In related news, via Swamplot the city also put in its bid to host the Summer X-Games for the next three years. (See here for more on that.) We won’t know the answer for that until August, though we will know if we make the next round of cuts shortly. We have a lot more competition for this, including Austin and Fort Worth. Wouldn’t it be cool to get both bids?