In one of the least suspenseful Super Bowl votes in recent years, NFL owners awarded Super Bowl L, in 2016, to the San Francisco/Santa Clara area and Super Bowl LI, in 2017, to Houston on Tuesday, shutting out Miami, which until a few weeks ago was a heavy favorite to host the 50th game.
Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls and remains a favorite site for them, but the twin defeats were an indication of the NFL’s dissatisfaction with the condition of Sun Life Stadium and with the Miami Dolphins’ inability to secure financing for renovations the team and the league feel are necessary to make it competitive with state-of-the-art stadiums such as the one under construction in Santa Clara and Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The NFL had hoped to put the 50th Super Bowl in Miami. And Miami would almost certainly have won the bidding for it had a referendum on use of tax dollars and rebates to pay for stadium renovations passed — an iffy proposition in an area still seething over the public financing of the ballpark for the Miami Marlins, whose payroll since has been slashed by ownership.
Stephen Ross, the Dolphins owner, has said he will not foot the entire $350 million bill for upgrades to the stadium, which opened in 1987. When the Florida legislature did not allow the controversial referendum to be held, the planned renovations stalled, perhaps indefinitely.
It is unclear what the Dolphins’ plan for renovations is now, and without them it seems likely that Miami could join San Diego as beloved Super Bowl destinations undermined by outdated stadiums.
The 2014 and 2015 Super Bowls will be held at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, N.J., and the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Scheduling conflict could move draft
New York will be hosting a Super Bowl for the first time this season, but it could be on the verge of losing another NFL event: the draft.
Next year’s draft is being bumped from late April to sometime in mid-May because of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall that also will affect future dates of the draft. Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league may look into shuffling the location rather than the timing.
The draft could rotate among cities or it could find a more permanent home. It also could wind up staying in New York, especially if having it in May fits in with the reconstructed league calendar being negotiated with the NFLPA.
Agent: No more forearm surgery likely for Gronk
Rob Gronkowski’s agent says the tight end’s latest surgery is expected to be the last on his forearm.
The New England Patriots’ star had his fourth surgery Monday on the left forearm that he broke on Nov. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts. He broke it again early in the Patriots’ first playoff game, a win over the Houston Texans.
“He should make a full recovery, according to the doctors I met with,” said Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.