Earlier this year, the NFL announced the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium and the San Francisco 49ers new stadium would be the finalists under consideration as the host site for Super Bowl L. The game will be held in February 2016, and, with it being the 50th time the Super Bowl will be played, it's an important game to host. With that in mind, the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee brought in some heavy hitters yesterday; Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Bob Griese, as well as the newly retired Dolphins legend Jason Taylor, were all named honorary co-chairs.
"I think every Super Bowl should be in South Florida," Marino said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Craig Davis. "You look at New York, yeah they are going to be in New York [in 2014] and other places. But what better place to have it than in South Florida with the weather, and the tradition also for 50. The [Dolphins] franchise is going to be 50 years old. It's going to be the 50th season, the 50th Super Bowl. Why not have it here?"
No city has hosted more Super Bowls than Miami. New Orleans will tie Miami in February when they host their tenth game.
The NFL owners will vote in May to determine the host site. Whichever of the two cities loses that vote will be as finalist against the Houston bid for Super Bowl LI, which will also be determined at the owners meeting in Boston. The Dolphins legends will be used primarily to generate local business support for the bid, as well as to try to persuade the NFL owners to vote for Miami.
The Committee is working with both Broward and Miami-Dade counties to put together the best bid possible. The game would be held on either February 7th, 14th, or 21st, 2016. Miami-Dade already has events scheduled for the last weekend of the three, meaning if the game were played late in February, Broward, who served as the primary host for the last Super Bowl held in Miami, back in 2010.
The NFL could use the vote as a way to pressure local governments around Sun Life Stadium to assist in renovations of the tenth oldest stadium in the league. By 2016, Sun Life Stadium could be the sixth oldest stadium in the league, depending on proposals for new stadiums in places like Buffalo and San Diego, and the opening of the 49ers new home, as well as a new site for the Minnesota Vikings.
The only stadiums that would be older than Sun Life are Chicago's Soldier Field, Green Bay's Lambeau Field, Oakland's Coliseum, Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, and New Orlean's Superdome. The NFL has said Sun Life Stadium, which opened in 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium, needs the renovations, specifically a cover over the seating area, high definition lighting, a new score board, and the seats brought closer to the field, to remain in competition for future Super Bowls .
If the NFL approved Miami as the site, with the contention that the renovations be complete before the game, the Dolphins could use the revenue a Super Bowl would bring to the area as collateral for the funding needed to make the improvements.
Having Marino, Griese, and Taylor to raise support for the Super Bowl - and possibly the renovations - is not a bad start to getting everything the team, and the city, would want.