CHICAGO — With the news that new Los Angeles stadium project has been delayed for its opening by a year, the NFL reportedly has unanimously voted to move Super Bowl LV from LA to the runner-up city, Tampa.
Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, the future home of the Rams and Chargers, was set to be the showcase of the NFL, chosen to host the Super Bowl following the 2021 season. But with heavy rains in recent months have delayed the stadium’s opening, and with NFL rules stating that stadiums must be open for two years before they host a Super Bowl, the league likely felt it had no choice but to move the event.
Tampa has hosted four prior Super Bowls, the last coming following the 2009 season (Super Bowl XLIII) when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in a thriller at Raymond James Stadium.
— Bucs Communications (@BuccaneersPR) May 23, 2017
Los Angeles last hosted a Super Bowl in 1993. League officials are expected to announce that Super Bowl LVI will land in the new LA stadium following the 2022 season.
The league could have made an exception to keep the game in Los Angeles for LV, but it likely had one overriding viewpoint: The NFL has to nail this event. All the kinks in the stadium must be fully worked out over an extended period, and even with twice the number of games (two home teams) playing there it likely was viewed as too much of a rush job to get it Super Bowl-ready.
Although the league has returned to the area for the first time last season since 1995, this Super Bowl will be the unveiling of what the league holds as the modern vision for an NFL stadium. It poured a lot of money and energy and burned a lot of bridges to make the return to Los Angeles possible and having anything bad happen with the game just isn’t an option short of embarrassment.
Tampa is a solid choice and a proven Super Bowl host. It made a strong bid for LV, one that caught a lot of league officials off guard, frankly, with how sound it was. There was surprising support for Tampa despite the allure of LA, but ultimately it fell just short in the voting.
New Orleans also was considered for the game, but there was a conflict with the timing of Mardi Gras and the presence of some already scheduled conventions the week of Feb 1, 2022.
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