South Florida prepares bid for Super Bowl L
South Florida competing against San Francisco for 2016 Super Bowl
MIAMI – South Florida is preparing its bid to host Super Bowl L in 2016.
South Florida is competing against San Francisco for the big game.
"From the venue, to hotels, airports, everything that will be put together and constructed out of the next six months, begins today," said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee.
During the bid process, Sun Life Stadium will be under the microscope. In the past, the NFL has recommended improvements to the stadium, including building a roof. Dee said the application to host Super Bowl L was submitted with Sun Life Stadium "as is."
But are the upgrades necessary and will taxpayers foot the bill?
"I don't know at this point. You know, it's premature to speculate," said Dee. "I do know that stadiums are a very important part of the bid process and we've heard what the NFL has said in the past and we will be mindful of that as we put this bid together."
"At least, as it has been conveyed to me, no improvements are necessary, but I think improvements are warranted," said South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman Rodney Barreto.
Barreto said that although some privately funded improvements have been made to Sun Life Stadium, which is now 25 years old, the stadium could use some enhancements to stay competitive.
"The stadium we are competing against is a $1.2 billion stadium, so it's tough to compete against them with all their amenities," said Barreto.
William Talbert, President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, said hosting any Super Bowl is good for business, but Super Bowl L could bring South Florida even more attention.
"It's an infomercial for Miami and South Florida," said Talbert. "It's priceless. It's priceless coverage. None of us could buy that kind of coverage."
As South Florida has hosted the most Super Bowls, Talbert said the area has nostalgia and a successful track record as a host, but work may need to be done to the stadium to better its chances for securing the game.
"I know there are internal discussions with the current ownership about some financing techniques for some improvements," said Talbert.
"At this time, we do not have a definitive plan," said Dee. "We just started the process. We have six months to put this together, so it will be at a fast and furious pace, so we better bring our A-game to the table as I say this will be a very competitive process."
NFL owners will decide which stadium will host Super Bowl L during a meeting next May.
The consolation prize -- competing against Houston for Super Bowl LI in 2017.
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