Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins, has been named one of the favorites to host the 2016 Super Bowl, the 50th time the game will be played. The south Florida venue was last considered a finalist for a Super Bowl in 2009, when the league awarded the 2013 Super Bowl to New Orleans.
Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens has hosted five previous games. The 2007 game, Super Bowl XLI was the last game awarded to the city through the normal selection process. The stadium also hosted the 2010 game, Super Bowl XLIV, after the game was taken away from the proposed New York Jets' stadium in New York after the finances for the stadium fell apart.
Super Bowl XLI featured the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. The game was the first one played in rain, with a downpour making the field muddy and effecting the fans. After the 2013 Super Bowl was awarded to New Orleans (which will mark the tenth time that city has hosted the game, tying it with greater Miami area), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained that South Florida would need to make major stadium upgrades, including a cover over the stadium's seating area, if a Super Bowl were to return to the area.
Three years later, the roof is still simply a desire, with the local, county, and state governments hesitant to fund any sort of upgrades. The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County recently funded the new Marlins Park, giving the Miami Marlins their own home for the first time in that franchises history and moving them out of Sun Life Stadium. However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced last last year that it would be investigating the deal between the local governments and the Marlins. The SEC is thought to be investigating allegations that the Marlins falsified reports that showed the team losing money and unable to pay for the stadium themselves.
The experience with the Marlins has made Miami, Miami-Dade County, and the State of Florida hesitant in signing up for expensive modifications to Sun Life Stadium - even if it means the stadium would get another Super Bowl.
Super Bowl L's host site will be determined next spring, with Miami and New Orleans believed to be leading the way. The NFL is thought to want to host the 50th game in a city with Super Bowl traditions, as well as in a warm weather location. Super Bowl XLVIII, the 2014 game, will be played in New Jersey in MetLife Stadium, the home of the Jets and the New York Giants, and will likely be the first cold weather game.
With New Orleans and Miami having the largest "Super Bowl tradition" it makes sense that they would be established as the favorites for the game. However, it will be interesting to see if the NFL truly considers Miami, of if they are using this opportunity to put pressure on the local governments to get funding for the stadium upgrades.
The south Florida venue has hosted Super Bowls II, III, V, X, and XIII at the Orange Bowl, while Super Bowls XXIII, XXIX, XXXIII, XLI, and XLIV were all at the current stadium under various names (Joe Robbie (XXIII and XXIX), Pro Player (XXXIII), Dolphin (XLI), and Sun LifeXLIV)).