TAMPA – It wasn’t all that long ago that it appeared Tampa had fallen out of the rotation for the Super Bowl. Since last hosting the game in 2009, Tampa bid for nearly half a dozen Super Bowls, only to be denied on each occasion.
One of those denials came in favor of the city of Los Angeles, which was initially named the host city for Super Bowl LV, but now, thanks to some fumbling by Los Angeles, that game is headed back to Tampa.
Citing the struggles Los Angeles is having to complete construction of a new joint stadium for the Rams and Chargers, NFL owners voted unanimously on Tuesday to make Tampa the site for the 2021 Super Bowl.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported the switch, which also calls for Los Angeles to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022. That is, as long as the city of angels can get a stadium built in time.
Oh, and there’s a bit of a caveat tied to Super Bowl LV coming back to Tampa as well, that being that Tampa has to prove it can make good on the promises it made when it first bid for Super Bowl LV in the first place. The city has 90 days to do that.
That should be a minor issue, though. Tampa has been working hard to stay in the Super Bowl rotation so it may have to scramble a bit to meets the demands but it’s not like Tampa hasn’t done this before.
This is a city that has hosted four previous Super Bowls – 1983, 1991, 2001 and 2009 and last year hosted the NCAA College Football Championship game.
by the way, the NFL’s spring owners meetings that are taking place in Chicago today began with the news that completion of the stadium being built for the Chargers and Rams will take a year longer than expected.
That prompted a decision to move the Super Bowl game and Tampa became the immediate favorite. Shortly after the vote was concluded, the Buccaneers released a statement from Co-Chairman Joel Glazer on the awarding of the latest Super Bowl to Tampa:
“The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls and we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meet the requirements for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021. Today’s announcement offers us the opportunity to showcase Tampa Bay’s unique ability to come together as a host for world-class events.”
Raymond James Stadium is in the final phase this year of an over $100 million overhaul including new massive High Definition video boards at each end of the stadium. The facility just hosted the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship Game in January (above) where Clemson defeated Alabama in the closing seconds for the title.