CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city of Los Angeles, which will re-introduce itself to the NFL this season following the relocation of the Los Angeles Rams, joined Atlanta and South Florida in being awarded future Super Bowls during Tuesday’s NFL spring meeting.
Los Angeles will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, the final of three bids awarded during the meeting. Atlanta earned the bid for Super Bowl LIII in 2019, while South Florida received the bid for Super Bowl LIV in 2020.
The last time the Super Bowl was held in the Los Angeles area was Jan. 31, 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The city last hosted an NFL team in 1994 — the Raiders’ last season before returning to Oakland.
“They had Super Bowls there regularly before there was no team, so with our new stadium and project, it will be unbelievable,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said of an L.A. Super Bowl. “I’ve been asked about it a lot when I was in Los Angeles. Everyone’s excited.”
Although Los Angeles was in the running for both the ’20 and ’21 games, the latter made the most sense from a logistical standpoint. The new Inglewood stadium, estimated to cost $2.6 billion, is scheduled to open in 2019.
“You want it to be perfect, right? When you come back to L.A. after all those years, you want to be perfect,” Kroenke said. “So I think an extra year might be good.”
Los Angeles essentially had just Tampa Bay to contend with for the final bid, considering Atlanta and South Florida each won the first two bids. Atlanta beat New Orleans on the fourth ballot for the 2019 game, while South Florida defeated Tampa Bay for voting on the 2020 game after L.A. pulled itself out of consideration.
Most people anticipated Atlanta was the front-runner for the 2019 game all along. The league often rewards cities with newly constructed venues. Atlanta is in the process of building the $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is set to open next summer. Falcons president Rich McKay said there is no lingering concerns about the possibility of a winter storm affecting the city’s ability to host the Super Bowl.
“Screaming joy for Atlanta and our fans,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said of his emotions after winning the Super Bowl bid.
Tampa, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and South Florida, in order, were allowed 15 minutes to make presentations. Then the team owner in each city was given five minutes to make a Super Bowl plea.
Atlanta last hosted the game on Jan. 30, 2000, when Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams to a 23-16 win over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome. South Florida last hosted the event on Feb. 7, 2010, when the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV, played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Atlanta’s bid to host a Super Bowl had been threatened by House Bill 757, which critics said promoted legal discrimination against gays and was denounced by the NFL, Falcons owner Arthur Blank and local business owners. But Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the controversial bill after it passed the legislature.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has made bringing the Super Bowl back to South Florida as one of his highest priorities. He spent approximately $450 million of his own money in renovations of New Miami Stadium after local government refused to subsidize with public funding. Ross will get some of his money back by bringing big events such as the Super Bowl to South Florida.
“We’re very excited to have won the 100th anniversary of the NFL Super Bowl,” Ross said. “It’s going to be great for Miami. It’s great for the Miami Dolphins. And we only going to feel better when we’re playing in the game.”
The next two Super Bowls will take place in Houston and Minneapolis, respectively.
ESPN’s James Walker contributed to this report.