The Miami Super Bowl bid came up short today when the NFL owners voted to hand championship games to San Francisco and Houston. Super Bowl L, the 50th anniversary of the game, was the key prize on the day, and the San Francisco 49ers' new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara will host the game.
After failing to claim the top prize, the Miami bid then competed against Houston for Super Bowl LI, to be played in February 2017. Rather than going to the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium, the game was handed to the Houston Texans' Reliant Stadium.
The Dolphins put together an amazing bid, but lost out on one big piece - the stadium. Sun Life Stadium is a 27 year old facility, and in need of renovations. The league has previously stated that, for the site to remain competitive for Super Bowls, the stadium needs a canopy over the seating area, high definition lighting, and improved video boards. When the Florida House of Representatives failed to take a vote on the request for public funding, it ended any chance of the site being upgraded, and, ultimately, ended the chances of the Super Bowl coming back to South Florida.
Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls in previous years, the most in NFL history, a mark tied last year by New Orleans. The bid committee had hoped that the history of Super Bowls in South Florida would assist in getting the 50th game.
However, the league owners were never going to award the site a Super Bowl fresh off the defeat of the public funding. Doing so would set a precedent that a team can be denied funding, and yet still get the biggest single sporting event.
So, congratulations to San Francisco and Houston. Miami will now have to figure out their next move, and how they are going to attract big events to a stadium the NFL just clearly told the world is not capable of hosting those events.