The NFL American football league has added Los Angeles to the mix as a contender to host the 2020 Super Bowl, with the move the latest indicator of the organisation’s intent to return a franchise to the city.
The NFL this week compiled a shortlist of four cities to host the 2019 and 2020 editions of its end-of-season showpiece with New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami and Tampa pencilled in as potential hosts of the two games. With each of the four cities having submitted a bid to host the event, these proposals will now be presented to NFL franchise owners for a vote in May next year.
Los Angeles has hosted seven Super Bowls, the last edition being staged in 1993, and the city has been without a team since the Raiders and Rams left after the 1994 season. This week’s owners’ meetings saw brief presentations from representatives of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders – the three teams currently considering relocation.
NFL.com said Los Angeles would be eligible as a potential Super Bowl LIV host site in 2020 if there is a stadium and a team has moved there by the start of the 2018 season. The league’s official website added that momentum continues to build toward the NFL returning to the Los Angeles market in 2016.
Commenting on a Super Bowl and the latest in the relocation process, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters: “On the 54th Super Bowl, later next spring, I think, if there is a team that relocates to Los Angeles, at that point in time they could submit an application to be considered for Super Bowl 54. They would have to obviously qualify for that and it would be included in the bid process. In that case there would be four teams bidding on 54.
“The window is something that, under my authority as commissioner, it’s something that I can adapt. We’ve had a great deal of discussion already about the pluses and minuses and the L.A. alternatives and what’s going on in the local markets, more importantly. In some ways we are significantly farther along than we’ve been on any other potential relocation in the past, so we have the ability to move that date up – I have ability to change that.”
Asked whether it is inevitable that the Los Angeles market will have at least one team in the near future, Goodell added: “There has been significant progress, but I don’t think it’s inevitable. I think there is certainly momentum, there are certainly opportunities. I can’t remember the last time we had two facilities that are actually entitled and are being developed. That’s a very positive development, and in fact there are actually even two more sites that have been entitled, but the two that we’re focusing on are obviously the Carson site and the Inglewood site. I think those are positive developments, but a lot more work has to be done.”
The City Council in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson last month unanimously voted to approve plans for the construction of a new $1.7bn (€1.6bn) stadium that could accommodate the proposed return of the Chargers and Raiders. The stadium would be located in the city of Carson, approximately 15 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
The plans have been supported by the Chargers and Raiders, who announced in February that they had held talks over a possible stadium-share deal at the new Carson facility. Both franchises are currently experiencing difficulties in securing new stadiums in their home markets and have identified a relocation to a new facility in the Los Angeles area as an option.
The Carson project was the second new stadium development plans in the Los Angeles area to have been approved this year. Inglewood City Council in February voted unanimously to approve the development of a new 80,000-seat stadium – a project backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
The Chargers and Raiders this week hired experienced former NFL executive Carmen Policy to serve as director of Carson Holdings LLC, overseeing the teams' plans to build their stadium in the Los Angeles market.