America’s premier sporting event, the Super Bowl, may be returning to Florida in 2019 or 2020. Miami and Tampa have been invited to join Atlanta and New Orleans in bidding for the game. There are reports Los Angeles could join the bidding for the 2020 game if there is a definitive plan to build an NFL stadium there and a team has relocated to the city. The winners will be announced next May.
The Super Bowl usually gives the host city an economic boost. Arizona officials estimate the game brought $500 million to the Phoenix area, where the most recent game was played.
By the time of the 2019 game, it will have been nine seasons since a Super Bowl was played here, the Sunshine State’s longest drought since the game first came here after the 1966 season. Florida has hosted 15 of the 49 Super Bowls played to date, or about one in every three. Miami is tied with New Orleans for the most popular destination, having hosted 10 games (five each in the Orange Bowl and what is now Sun Life Stadium). Tampa has hosted four and Jacksonville one.
However, the 2010 game in South Florida was the state’s most recent. Tampa hosted the game the year before. The next three (2016-18) are committed to Santa Clara, Calif., Houston and Minneapolis.
Both South Florida and Tampa have been turned away twice since they last hosted. Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium lost to East Rutherford, N.J., for the 2014 game and Glendale, Ariz., for the 2015 game. Sun Life Stadium finished second in the bidding for the 2016 and 2017 games.
Sun Life was rejected specifically because the NFL believed the stadium needed upgrades. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross committed $400 million to address the league’s concerns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, are negotiating with the Tampa Sports Authority and Hillsborough County on upgrades to Raymond James.