The wait to see who will host the monumental Super Bowl L in 2016 is over, as the NFL brass have selected San Francisco to play host in their brand new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The NFL owner’s voted on the site of the game today while meeting in Boston. Two cities had placed bids to host the game, Miami and San Francisco with San Francisco and its brand new stadium emerging victorious.
Excited about the news that his franchise will be hosting the event marking a half century of Super Bowls, 49ers CEO Jed York stated “after losing a Super Bowl, its nice to win one.” He is of course making fun of his team’s defeat in this past Super Bowl at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
This game will be the second Super Bowl played in Northern California, the previous game was played in 1985. The week long festivities leading up to the game will be held in San Francisco due to its attraction to tourists. A game as significant as a 50th year anniversary of America’s most popular sport should provide a significant economic boost to the Bay Area. This celebration will be a marquee event for the league, as the Super Bowl always is, but look for San Francisco to plan something special for this week as we come closer to its 2016 date.
By winning this bid, and the Texans securing the rights to host Super Bowl LI, the city of Miami has been left behind by the league. Hoping to secure the rights to an 11th Super Bowl, the Miami Dolphins came up empty. Reasons for passing on the city are largely due to complaints about Sun Life Stadium being too outdated to properly host such a large scale game. This has to be a huge blow to a team that just received news that it would not be awarded funding for a new stadium, with State Legislature shooting down proposed funding to do so, using the increase in state taxes that would result as justification.
York views his team’s securing a Super Bowl bid as a way for other California teams to update their own ball parks so that they too will be able to host events such as this. San Diego and Oakland are cited by York as teams in need of a new stadium, and hopes that this victory for San Francisco will provide motivation for those clubs to also decide to upgrade.
No team has ever played in the Super Bowl while hosting it, although this San Francisco team certainly has the young talent on its roster to make history by doing so. While boasting one of the league’s youngest rosters, the team has been a force to be reckoned with the past several seasons. With players such as quarterback Colin Kaepernick and defensive end Aldon Smith turning into rising stars that should be entering their prime come 2016, the 49ers have positioned themselves to make history in what will almost certainly already be a historic game for the league.
Whether or not the 49ers play in this game, this certainly is a victory for the city. It also marks a change in how the NFL awards the rights to host Super Bowls, with a definite favoritism towards new parks. This is evidenced by New York securing a rare cold weather bid for a Super Bowl in 2014, and Houston’s Reliant stadium earning a bid in 2004 shortly after its construction.
By: Charlie Gille
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille