The writing has been on the wall ever since the Florida House refused to vote on the Sun Life Stadium renovation bill. That obviously meant Super Bowl L would be awarded to the Bay Area and Super Bowl LI to Houston.
But it became official this afternoon when, despite South Florida’s efforts to promote the city and proposed festivities, Santa Clara, California and Houston, Texas became the destinations for the NFL’s title game in 2016 and 2017.
The league sent a message to Miami and other potential host cities around the league. No longer will weather and the prestige of a city be enough. Keeping the city’s venue state of the art will be the key to a winning bid.
It’s now back to the drawing board for South Florida. Sun Life Stadium needs to be renovated or a plan to build a new facility needs to be approved in order for Miami to remain in the Super Bowl rotation.
The NFL isn’t going to allow other cities who need to renovate their stadiums to lose leverage in their efforts to do so by awarding a Super Bowl to Miami after its restoration attempt was vanquished.
“We need to do something to our stadium and I think the owners spoke,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said.
Ross also reiterated that he isn’t willing to fund the renovations alone. “It has to be a public-private partnership,” he said. “I think the percentage that I’m going to put up is probably more than anybody else has ever put up, and I’m willing to do that, but I think we’re going to have to work together.”