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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida football fans were abuzz Wednesday morning after learning the 2020 Super Bowl will be played in their hometown.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Super Bowl LIV will take place at New Miami Stadium in Miami Gardens.
“South Florida is the ideal community to play host to the world. There is truly something here for football enthusiast, foodies, people that are looking for family friendly outings, as well as people that want to participate in the hottest night life on the planet.” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert in a statement. “I’m truly happy that the Super Bowl is coming home.”
One of the reasons it is ‘coming home’ is big fat check written by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross who is spending $450 million to upgrade. The renovations at the New Miami Stadium, formerly known as Sun Life Stadium, include a completely modernized exterior, shade canopy and four high-definition scoreboards.
“Remember, we weren’t invited last time,” said Rodney Baretto, Chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee. “The last group of Super Bowls they gave out we weren’t invited to participate so Mr. Ross, with investing money in the stadium is really what put us over the top to allow us to get back into the rotation. The good news is we have 2020, now we can start working on another one.”
Members of the Miami Super Bowl Committee returned to Miami International Airport Wednesday amid applause from TSA agents.
“It was a great flight. We are still celebrating,” Baretto said.
At an airport news conference, Nat Moore, a former Dolphins star and a member of the committee said it’s good to have the Super Bowl back.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we finally got the Super Bowl back home,” Moore said.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said a renovated Dolphins stadium will bring more benefits than just more Super Bowls.
“We will now be eligible for the college football championship game and other major events because of the investments made by Stephen Ross,” Gimenez said.
It’s expected that Super Bowl visitors will spend hundreds of millions dollars in the South Florida hotels restaurants and shops.
Bill Talbert, of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the event will bring publicity money can’t buy.
“When we last had the game, a study indicated that media coverage for that week would have been worth $100 million. That’s priceless coverage,” Talbert said.
“It is going to be great for Miami. It is great for Miami Dolphins and the only thing that can be better is playing in the game and winning it,” said Ross on Tuesday.
Dolphin fans couldn’t agree more.
“It would mean more if the Dolphins are in it and I agree with Mr. Ross on that,” said Fins fan Walter Joseph.
“I am tickled pink that the centennial game comes down to Miami,” said Miami Dolphins legend Larry Csonka who gave the final pitch for the South Florida committee to team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Miami Gardens residents are also loving the thought of what Super Bowl LIV can do for the city.
“It is going to help the city where finances are concerned. It will bring comradery with residents and the city. We will all have something we are looking for,” said Catherine Stanley.
Plans for the next South Florida Super Bowl were laid out in a 526-page bid describing plans for a week-long celebration with the focal point centered on Super Bowl Park in downtown Miami, extending along Biscayne Boulevard from the Intercontinental Hotel to the Perez Art Museum.
The Super Bowl deal also includes Tailgate Town, a place where fans can have fun with interactive games, floating chalets on Biscayne Bay and a zip-line with skyline views of Downtown Miami.
Miami has hosted the Super Bowl a record 10 times but not since 2010.
Atlanta was awarded Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and Los Angeles was awarded Super Bowl LV in 2021.