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With the Promise of a Team, L.A. Looking at Hosting Super Bowl

27 Jan, 2016

By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Mayor, NFL, Already in Discussion for 2021 Game

Well, that didn’t take long.

With Los Angeles as the next home of the Rams, the topic of future Super Bowl locations is already on the table.

According an article in the Detroit Free Press, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti has already had the conversation with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. And with good reason. Los Angeles is the second-largest media market in the U.S.

Garcetti said that Goodell told him flat-out that he expected a Super Bowl.

“He gave me a timeline,” Garcetti told USA TODAY Sports. “He said, `You guys should be getting together a good bid because we want to see that from L.A.”

Los Angeles could submit a bid soon for the 2021 Super Bowl, the next game for which the city is eligible to bid. But Garcetti won’t stop there.

“I expect us to land a disproportionate amount of Super Bowls,” Garcetti said. “We want to bring the draft here. We really want to announce we’re back as part of the NFL family in an aggressive way.”

Of course, it won’t happen immediately as there are protocols that must be in place. A stadium needs to be open for at least two years before it can host a Super Bowl, according to the NFL. A team, such as the Rams, needs to express interest, and then the Super Bowl advisory committee establishes which teams are eligible to bid for a particular game. Only after that can a bid be crafted.

Of course, L.A. already has the pedigree for big-name sports. The Super Bowl has been played there, most recently in 1993 at the Rose Bowl, which hosted the game five times. And let’s not forget L.A. is already at the table as the U.S. bid city for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Something else playing in L.A.’s favor is the financing. The new stadium construction isn’t getting public funding and instead will be privately financed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, to the tune of at least $2 billion.

The Rams’ relocation application notes that Kroenke will “invest over $800 million in equity in the project and has the ability to service the debt on the facility.”

“It’s nice that our strategy … prevailed of not subsidizing the construction of a stadium with hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Garcetti, who took office as mayor in 2013. “This is a very wealthy league in professional sports. And Americans embrace these sports leagues but also want to make sure our streets are paved and cops are funded. It’s good to see at least here a way to do that where the value added will be in increased economic activity, and we won’t be handling some long-term debt.”

The issue of cost control has been a sore point among cities that want to bid on big-name sports events but are hesitant to incur the cost overruns those events are sure to bring. The most obvious example, of course, is Boston, which ultimately refused to bid on the Olympics because of the possibility that taxpayers would wind up having to provide a bailout in the event of a budget overrun.

Although in May, reports on ESPN indicated that L.A. was being considered as a potential host for the 2020 Super Bowl, it seems the 2021 event is a more realistic possibility. In fact, noted NFL executive vice president of business operations Eric Grubman, the idea of a 2020 Super Bowl was already on the table back in the spring.

"Anticipating that might happen, it was necessary to tell the competing clubs that it was a possibility that another club could be added to the mix and would be considered if there was a relocation proposal that was voted [on] and if that relocation proposal provides for a stadium to be done in time," Grubman said.

Grubman said the "attractiveness and potential of the L.A. market" is why the city is being considered as a Super Bowl site.

The Super Bowl locations for 2019 and 2020 have not yet been decided. The four finalists for each year are Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Miami. The locations will be voted on in the May 2016 Owners Meetings

While the new stadium is being constructed, the Rams are expected to play at the Los Angeles Coliseum for three years. The Coliseum was the site of the first Super Bowl in 1967 – as well as being one of the featured venues in the Olympic bid.

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