NFL owners voted today to give Houston Super Bowl LI in 2017.
At their spring meeting at the Hyatt Harborside, the owners voted the coveted Super Bowl L to San Francisco over South Florida.
South Florida took another one on the chin in the next vote, losing Super Bowl LI to Houston. The Houston group made the final presentation of the day to the owners.
This will be the third Super Bowl played in Houston – the first since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.
“This is a great day for Houston, bringing back the Super Bowl to Houston,” said Ric Campo, chairman of Houston’s bid committee. “I know a lot of people are celebrating in Houston, but it’s important to remember our friends in Oklahoma. They have our prayers and support as they rebuild. We are thinking of them while we celebrate this great game for Houston.”
Houston was favored over South Florida for the last two weeks. The consensus was that San Francisco was a lock because of the 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. That meant South Florida, which has hosted 10 Super Bowls, competed against Houston.
When Dolphins owner Stephen Ross failed to get $350 million from taxpayers to improve Sun Life Stadium, he conceded Super Bowl LI to Houston. While trying to get his legislature to approve a Dade County referendum that might have provided the $350 million, Ross said without the improvements, South Florida wouldn’t get one of the Super Bowls.
If the owners had voted the game to South Florida without the stadium improvements, they would have sent a strong message that taxpayer money wasn’t necessary to improve a stadium before it can host a Super Bowl.
Yeah, the owners obviously couldn’t let that happen. We did spend some money on Reliant’s scoreboard, but on the shakedown scale that’s pretty small potatoes. We had a good bid and we won on the merits, which is how it should be. I’m looking forward to all the hoopla in 2017. There will be some haters, of course, but who cares? Let ‘em whine, we don’t care. The only bad news is that we’ll need to wait awhile to get the economic impact estimate, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Hair Balls has more.