Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s almost anti-climactic for South Florida at this point, but Tuesday, NFL owners will meet in Boston and vote on the sites to hold Super Bowl’s L and LI.
A few weeks ago, South Florida might have been waiting on pins and needles to see if it would be chosen to host one of the games. But after Speaker of the House Will Weatherford killed the stadium deal to upgrade Sun Life Stadium; Miami’s chances appear to be slim and none.
Despite the efforts of the Miami Dolphins, between Weatherford and a county still reeling from the boondoggle the Marlins pulled off to get its stadium, the Fins were fighting an uphill battle. Now, as early as Tuesday the area could be denied two key Super Bowls.
South Florida was battling Santa Clara/San Francisco for the rights to hold the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl, which will be one of the biggest in league history. While Miami has South Beach and a long history of hosting the game; Santa Clara/San Francisco has a $1 billion stadium under construction that will be state of the art.
The San Francisco area hasn’t hosted a Super Bowl since 1985 when Stanford Stadium was the home for the big game which matched up San Francisco, and ironically enough, the Miami Dolphins. Incidentally, San Francisco beat Miami that time as well.
If South Florida didn’t get Super Bowl L, the area was then going to be matched up against Houston for the rights to Super Bowl LI (51) the following year. However, Miami isn’t expected to win in a matchup against Houston either.
Miami’s biggest problem now is the league has threatened in the past not to hold another Super Bowl in South Florida without a stadium upgrade. Now that no upgrade is in the cards for the foreseeable future, if the NFL gives the area the big game, future arm twisting to help get stadiums built won’t carry the same amount of weight.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King summed it up this way: “I think the problem with even strongly considering South Florida, and giving another Super Bowl to the Dolphins’ stadium, is this: The league has emphasized giving Super Bowls to franchises and markets that have either built new stadiums or refurbished needy ones. There are no active plans to improve the Miami stadium. And to hold the 50th anniversary Super Bowl in a stadium that’s not among the 20 best (either open or under construction) would go against most everything the league has held dear in its Super Bowl selection process in recent years.”
Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls throughout the history of the big game. The last Super Bowl hosted by Miami was in 2010 and saw the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts.
But, if the area is denied both Super Bowl 50 and 51, NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported that it could signal the area will fall out of the Super Bowl rotation like San Diego did recently.