The NFL narrowed the potential host cities of the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls at the owners meetings on Tuesday, naming Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Miami as the four that will bid for the games. According to a later report, Los Angeles is also in the running for hosting the Super Bowl in 2020, provided a team relocates to LA in the near future.
Each of the four Southern cities has experience hosting the NFL's biggest event, including 10 Super Bowls apiece for Miami and New Orleans. Tampa Bay has hosted four times and Atlanta has been venue for the Super Bowl just two times, but the latter will have the advantage of a brand new stadium to put in the spotlight.
New stadiums typically have a big advantage when it comes to Super Bowl bids. Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, opened in 2014 and will host Super Bowl L followed by Houston in 2017 and Minnesota in 2018. Construction is already underway on a new stadium in Minnesota which will be the new home of the Vikings beginning in 2016.
The new home of the Atlanta Falcons is expected to open in 2017 and should make the bid, led by team owner Arthur Blank, one of the frontrunners next May. Via Mike Triplett of ESPN:
"Atlanta is one of the most vibrant and progressive cities in America,'' Blank said. "We are thrilled to once again be part of the process to potentially show off our great city and host the world's greatest sporting event."
The other three bidding cities have stadiums that have stood for decades, but have been recent hosts of Super Bowls. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans underwent a $193 million renovation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and hosted Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
Saints owner Tom Benson released a statement on Tuesday after it was announced that New Orleans was one of four finalists for hosting the Super Bowl in 2019 or 2020.
"New Orleans is a Super Bowl favorite city and has been for many years," Benson said. "We are excited to be once again invited and I am confident that our city leaders and the hospitality community will come together and put forth our best bid."
Tampa Bay hosted Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 and Miami hosted Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Dolphins, is set to undergo a $350 million renovation that will transform the venue before the beginning of the 2016 season and add new videoboards and a canopy over seating areas.
Owners will make a final decision and vote among the bids next May.