Official: San Francisco/Santa Clara awarded Super Bowl L

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the big announcements today: Super Bowl L (2016) has been awarded to San Francisco/Santa Clara. Houston was awarded Super Bowl LI (2017). Miami is officially left out in the cold until they get publicly-financed stadium improvements.

Anyone who has been following the process with even a passing interest should know that this was as anti-climactic a decision as it gets. Once a funding package for Dolphins Stadium died without coming to a vote in the Florida House. South Florida bidders and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross have no choice but to go back to the drawing board as they have to deal with future competition from Dallas/North Texas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, and in all likelihood, Atlanta (see below).

While Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium will physically host the game, Media Day, and other activities, San Francisco will host most of the peripheral events. Chief among these is The NFL Experience, the temporary theme park, which will be held at Moscone Center. The SF bid committee has not made public all of the details of the bid, but we’ll see everything emerge in the coming months. Daniel Lurie, SF philanthropist and part of the extended Haas family, put together a coalition of business interests and civic leaders to raise $30 million of pledges to host the game, the two weeks of events leading up to the game, and contributions to community groups. The list of companies in the fray is who’s who of Bay Area heavyweights, including Google, Apple, HP, Intel, GAP (yes, that GAP), Virgin America, SAP, Brocade, and others.

NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen couldn’t help but gush over the 49ers’ doing the seemingly impossible:

The fact that somebody turned a shovel for a stadium in (California) is mindboggling.

Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but Jed York and the 49ers still deserve major kudos for getting this done. They combined a steady political drive with some fortuitous on-field success to execute exceedingly well. They’re also getting the benefit of a major first-mover advantage at Levi’s Stadium. When the big game is held there, chances are the MLB’s Lodge will take a look and think, We might’ve been first movers here. (Sorry, the Sharks are still bit players compared to NFL & MLB).

York and Lurie have pitched Super Bowl L as the first truly high-tech experience, with no paper tickets and extremely connected fans in the seats. Whether SF/SC becomes a regular rotation player among Super Bowl host cities will depend largely on how well the technology works, and, of course, the weather during the game.

Not to be lost in the news is that Atlanta was approved for $200 million in G-4 funds for their crazy new stadium to replace the still-young Georgia Dome. If you’re keeping track, that’s now three stadia that have gobbled up a full-sized G-4 share: Levi’s Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings’ next home, and now the Falcons’ downtown digs. With the Packers getting $58 million for a Lambeau Field expansion, nearly all of the G-4 program money has been spoken for, with maybe one full slot or a few smaller slots remaining. The Raiders have indicated that they may not participate in the program, probably because they have to match the NFL’s cash dollar for dollar and get additional privately-sourced commitments to secure approval. The Chargers and Rams are also interested, and in the latter’s case, St. Louis is obligated to give them a ton of money if they want to keep the team in town. The Chargers and Raiders have an uproad battle to get public funds.


44 thoughts on “Official: San Francisco/Santa Clara awarded Super Bowl L

  1. This is awesome and much props to Jed York for getting this done. This is a win not only for SC/SF and Niners fans, but for the whole Bay Area as well (East Bay included)!

    OT: SJSU’s Spartan stadium also getting renovations as well! Now only if something was done for the A’s. 😦

  2. Congrats to the ‘9ers and the entire Bay Area–stadium is coming along very nicely–looks awesome–looking forward to a “Winter Classic” for the Sharks at the new stadium at some point.

    Also saw that SJSU will be doing near $40M in renovations to Spartan Stadium including a Vermeil-Walsh Athletic Complex. Considering the EQ new stadium is $60M this should go a long way towards making Spartan Stadium alot more fan friendly. Great watching the South Bay sports evolve to include NFL, NHL, MLS and hopefully MLB (personally don’t care about NBA)

  3. How awesome would it be to see the first-ever Battle of the Bay meeting in the Super Bowl between the Raiders and Niners, right here in our own backyard?

    One can dream, right? 😉

  4. Yay (sarcastically stated). SF getting all the glory on the South Bay’s dime. Sorry, but can’t get all excited about this announcement. I’ve become pretty anti-SF over the past 3-4 years for obvious reasons. If only MLB will free SJ perhaps my “hate” will go away. (To the rest of you, Congrats).

  5. @ JL – How awesome would it be if the Raiders moved to Levi’s stadium (even if temporarily) and they were both involved in a Bay Area SB?! 🙂

  6. Quite a coup for the Santa Clara 49ers.

  7. @Tony D.: Does Media Day and The NFL Experience really sound like “glory” to you? It sounds like hell-on-Earth to me.

  8. Other cities from other states will have to step up if owners of the Raiders and chargers want a new stadium. I mean this is really crazy how Cali pols are making it hard for those 2 teams to get stadiums….Virginia, OKC San Antonio are the only ones half way ready…

  9. The NFL experience at the NO superbowl, which was held at a near by convention center, was kind of a bust. $25 a person and it was just bunch of companies selling their NFL branded merchandise. We went saturday afternoon the day before the superbowl and it was empty.

    I was excited to check it out because thats one of the events at the superbowl maybe my expectations were to high ….

  10. Actually RM, when the big game is held “here,” hopefully the construction cranes are going full throttle at Autumn and W. San Fernando, with Opening Day Cisco Field being a year away.
    I stand on how I feel. Yes, there will be $pill over in SC, SJ and the rest of the Bay, but this will be SF’s event…and just my opinion, it shouldn’t be.

  11. Congrats to SC/SF on getting SB L. Next years game should be interesting with it being played in NJ. Depending on that game we might see more SB played outdoors in cold weather stadiums.

  12. How awesome would it be for the Raiders and Cowboys ( The two most hated teams by niner fans) to play in Super Bowl 50 :p congrats to SF/SC — still raihdah nation all day tho!

  13. @Tony D. – It’s just more proof that, like it or not, SF still casts an enormous shadow over the rest of the Bay Area as the cultural center of the region. Same goes if a future Super Bowl were to be played in a new Raiders stadium, be it in Oakland, Dublin, or elsewhere in the East Bay. Will it be billed as an Oakland/East Bay event? I doubt it…

  14. Contact:
    Kate Girotti
    Director of Sales & Marketing
    Oracle Arena & Coliseum
    Phone: 510-383-4930
    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority hosts end of season celebration
    May 21st, 2013 – Oakland, CA – The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority will celebrate the success of the Golden State Warriors 2012-2013 campaign by hosting an end of the season celebration on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
    Oracle Arena will open its doors on Wednesday night from 6-9pm allowing fans to get together, tour the locker rooms, buy merchandise and reflect back on their favorite 2012-2013 Warriors moments. This event is free and open to the public and will include player appearances, performances by the Warrior girls and more. Warriors players tentatively scheduled to appear include Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes, Carl Landry, Kent Bazemore and Brandon Rush.
    “The Golden State Warriors had a phenomenal year,” said Nate Miley Chair of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. “We wanted to show both the team and the fans how much we appreciate them and celebrate their success together one more time this year. Hosting a Fan Rally to bring everyone together at Oracle Arena one more time is the perfect end to the season.”
    Parking lots will open at 5:00 PM for the event, with Oracle Arena opening at 6:00 PM. Select Warriors merchandise will be on sale at a discounted rate and concessions will feature $1.00 popcorn, $2.00 hot dogs, $3.00 nachos and $4.00 soft drinks. Fans will have the opportunity to enter to win one of 20 autographed copies of the Stephen Curry cover issue of Sports Illustrated, listen to Q&As with the players as they reflect on the season, shoot free throws on the court and win other Warriors prizes throughout the evening.
    About Oracle Arena & Coliseum
    Oracle Arena and Coliseum, managed by AEG Facilities, are the premiere sports and entertainment complexes in Northern California. Home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and MLB’s Oakland Athletics as well as host to concerts, family shows and special events. Additional information on Oracle Arena and Coliseum, including a complete schedule of events can be found online at .

  15. Wow JL! I can somewhat understand a SC Superbowl being “SF” because the Niners are choosing to stay “SF,” and it’s their stadium; but a New Coliseum Superbowl being “SF”!? Your gonna get burned at the stake by the Oakland-only crowd for that one ;).
    FWIW, When Cisco Field hosts its first All Star Game it will be SJ’s, not SF’s.

  16. @Tony D – you spelled World Series wrong.

  17. Given that the A’s want(need) to extend their Coliseum lease through 2018 and estimating a 3 year construction period for a new A’s ballpark, it’s within the realm possibility that the A’s situation won’t be resolved by kickoff of Super Bowl. It’s dumbfounding to think that AT&T Park will be about 20 years old by the time the A’s open their ballpark.

  18. interesting how SF is “taking” ownership of the W’s by hosting the team at city hall and giving Curry a key to the city. Now see that Oakland is trying to do something–why is Oakland always playing catch up rather than leading?

  19. @Tony D., You are getting worried about nothing! The powers that be in the sports world, namely MLB and now it appears to be the NFL, view Oakland and the East Bay to be a distinctly separate territory and market than that of the San Francisco territory/market. The City of San Francisco is viewed as distinctly different to Oakland and the East Bay in much the same way as it would be to Chicago, Boston, New York, or any other far away markets. On the other hand, these same sports powers view the entire peninsula including San Mateo County as well as all of Santa Clara County as being suburbs of the City of San Francisco. It should be noted that when the A’s had moved to Oakland and when the Raiders were first established in the old AFL, neither of them ever had the San Francisco moniker associated with their respective team names. It should also be noted that the Oakland Raiders did actually play in San Francisco for their very first two years, before a temporary stadium was built for the Raiders in Oakland. Also, when the San Francisco Warriors had moved to Oakland, the team did not retain the San Francisco moniker. Regardless of where the A’s and Raiders eventually wind up, it is safe to say that they will never have a San Francisco moniker associated with their respective team names.

  20. Is it just me, or is having a Warriors’ celebration rally at The Oracle instead of downtown Oakland a real missed opportunity? The Coliseum’s location detaches Oakland from its teams, so phyically bringing the team into the heart of the city would be beneficial on many levels.

  21. @llpec,
    I’m not worried about anything; I was merely responding to JL’s post. Besides, your opinion on how the sports powers view the Bay Area is just that; an opinion. I disagree with your assessment BTW. If there was a grain of truth to it the Sharks would be “SF” even though they play in San Jose.

  22. I agree briggs. It’s sad how Oakland city leaders consider east Oakland as Oakland teams then Downtown Oakland. I just came to realize that our city officials just arent big business savy. How the city never offered the A’s or Warriors downtown locations.

    To all my Oakland pro folks. Has anybody thought maybe Oakland and the sports teams will be better apart…would be intresting to see what Oakland becomes withoit sports. The liberals will get what they wanted…arms folded ,” not one penny spent on the A’s mentality.

  23. I think is lead by / Oracle management (with the W’s) and not necessarily with city government (fortunately), so of course they wouldn’t have it downtown…

  24. Did the Oakland city skyline have anything to support the Warriors during the Playoff run? SF City Hall was lit up blue & gold, as it was red & gold earlier this year and orange last October. I see SF City Hall 4 times daily, every day. The entire month of October 2012 it was orange except 10/11, the day of ALDS Gm. 5. It was lit green that day. I’d like to think it was some cross-bay support.

  25. Oakland Airport was lit up blue and gold, for whatever that’s worth. I didn’t see much downtown though. Flags and messages on buses

  26. Wow never realized that. WellAnon was right. Oakland pols wish they were in sf…penis envy. Something tells me that if the teams don’t invest in coliseum city….kick rocks.

  27. That’s a pretty stupid thing to worry about though. It’s the one type of thing Oakland officials can do – cheerleading and having rallies and handing out signs. It doesn’t mean anything

  28. during the ALDS the Port of Oakland lit a crane green.

  29. Oakland’s City Hall was lit up blue during each playoff game they played.

  30. That city hall looks good. There was a old ml post about him mentioning the 580/Grand lake A’s stadium

  31. Anon, i know that certain luxury box holders get the boxes for every event, no matter what. But otherwise I believe it is “first come, first served.”

  32. @Anon – AFAIK the lower level 50-yard line club seat holders ($80k license) will have the chance to buy tickets. All others in the bowl are SOL.

    @jeffrey – The NFL surveys each bidder to determine which suiteholders are contractually guaranteed Super Bowl access. As you’d expect, the league frowns upon this practice.

  33. @ ML – Damn…thanks.

  34. There are 12 luxury box owners that hold such contracts at Levi’s Stadium. Or, at least, there were 12 boxes that were pitched to various companies with that promise. I know the guys at 3 different companies who bought them, specifically paid a crap ton more for their boxes, with the thought that they would eventually be able to throw a Super Bowl party at the Super Bowl.
    All 3 of these guys said, almost identically, “We are 1 of only 12 with this privilege.” So I assume that was part of the sales pitch.

  35. @jeffrey – Makes sense. Less than 10% of the boxes obligated means more for the NFL to package for sponsors.

  36. I would assume there is a small number of tickets that will be put into a lottery for STH. And by small, I mean just enough so that they can say STH have a chance and hopefully don’t feel like they were completely shafted.

  37. @ LS – you are correct. Here’s the word i got from my STH rep:

    “There is only one section which is a part of one of our club locations that guarantee Super Bowl tickets in which we are down to three left. For other locations we will have a raffle/lottery system in place for the chance to win tickets.”

  38. I remember the Raiders lotterying off 3,000 tickets the last time they made the Super Bowl (I think the team gets maybe 8,000 and keeps the rest). I’m guessing that, under this plan, the club section gets theirs guaranteed and there’s a lottery for the rest.

  39. This is offtopic, but I just got my new Sports Illustrated in the mail and there’s a great article in there about how popular hockey has become in California. There’s an interesting quote in there about the Sharks:

    “Though the Sharks struggled on the ice its first few years in the NHL, they did well at the gate and with merchandise sales thanks to the business community. “With all the corporate support they had coming in, you knew hockey was going to be a home run in that city” says Jack Ferreira, the former Sharks and Ducks general manager who is now special assistant to Kings G.M. Dean Lombardi, who also was G.M. for the Sharks from 1996-2003.”

  40. Good article John the Shark Tank has always been one of my favorite hockey venues. Even though I am a Kings fan I do appreciate the youth hockey leagues that they have set up around SJ.

  41. No new stadium in Frisco? No problem. Just pretend that it IS in Frisco, like this local Miami news column does: “That beautiful new rival of a stadium being erected in San Francisco?”

  42. Eagles are getting $125 million in renovations to their 10-year-old stadium. Raiders can’t get 125 cents for their stadium needs.

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