The next five Super Bowl locations are set following the annual Spring League Meeting in Atlanta on May 24. The owners voted to award Super Bowl LIII (2019) to Atlanta, 2020 to Miami, and 2021 to Los Angeles.
The latter will receive the most attention as it brings the most-watched sporting event in the US back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1993. On January 12, 2016, owners voted 30-2 to allow the Rams to relocate back to Los Angeles and return the NFL to the nation’s second-largest city.
Houston will host Super Bowl LI in 2017, with Minneapolis hosting 2018. Both sites had been previously selected.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital, owners of the Hollywood Park Casino, have commenced plans for the construction on the tentatively titled City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California. The $2.6 billion facility is expected to open in 2019 ahead of the Rams’ NFL season.
“With our new stadium and project, it will be unbelievable,” Kroenke told ESPN of Super Bowl LV.
Making the Grade
The overall theme from the owners meeting was that if you want the Super Bowl, upgrade your stadium, or better yet, build one.
The $1.4 billion Mercedes-Bank Stadium in Atlanta will open in 2017 three years after construction began, and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross personally spent $450 million to renovate the New Miami Stadium, formerly and perhaps more commonly known as Dolphin Stadium.
“The message is clear from NFL ownership. Build a stadium (or fix one up) and the Super Bowl will come to town,” NFL writer Gregg Rosenthal stated.
Unlike the Olympics where hosting the games is no longer a no-brainer and can actually cost cities and taxpayers millions of dollars, the Super Bowl remains an economic powerhouse for host locations.
Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers, generated some $350 million in revenue for the Bay Area, and nearly $70 million in business travel. The NFL says the fiscal impact of hosting the Super Bowl varies anywhere from a couple hundred million to $800 million depending on the region.
NFL’s Super Gamble
Though certain owners have expressed support for Raiders owner Mark Davis moving his franchise to Las Vegas, most notably New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league have historically opposed placing a team in Sin City due to its legal sports betting.
Nevada is the only state that’s using its grandfathered status to free itself from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), but the Silver State is certainly not the only state where sports betting runs rampant.
When Super Bowl LV comes to Los Angeles in 2021, the game will be played just steps from the Hollywood Park Casino.
The NFL has been critiqued in recent months for hypocrisy surrounding its involvement with daily fantasy sports (DFS). Of the league’s 32 teams, 28 have marketing pacts with either DraftKings or FanDuel, but the NFL itself opposes traditional line betting on games.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is slowly moving towards favoring legalized sports betting.
“There’s an enormous amount of betting that’s all underground, we have no idea what’s going on,” Silver said on ESPN May 24. “It’s my job as commissioner to protect the integrity of the game, and like the stock market with insider trading, if you don’t have an open exchange, you can’t know what insider trading is going on.”
Should the Big Four sports get behind sports betting, it would theoretically create a strong case for the eradication of the federal PASPA law.