American football league the NFL has introduced a new model to assign hosting rights for the Super Bowl, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk website.
Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, said the change was made at the recent owners’ meetings, with the league set to no longer put its showpiece end-of-season game out to bid.
Instead, the NFL is said to have decided to introduce a model through which the league will approach a specific city regarding a specific future Super Bowl, outlining the terms it needs in order to grant the game to that location.
Pro Football Talk said the selected city will have an opportunity to decide whether to accept the terms. If they are rejected the process will switch to the more traditional submission of bids.
Super Bowl LII will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium (pictured) in Minneapolis, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, on February 4. The NFL is said to have made the change to the bidding process in a bid to ensure defeated cities do not decide to forgo future bids. New Orleans is said to have opted out of competing against new stadiums after losing its bid for Super Bowl LII.
In May, delays to the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood saw NFL team owners vote to remove hosting rights to the 2021 Super Bowl from the city in favour of it staging the 2022 edition of the game.
The announcement came just days after the Rams said construction work on its $2.6bn (€2.18bn) future home had been delayed due to adverse weather conditions. The 70,000-seat stadium will also serve as the home of the Los Angeles Chargers once complete, and the opening date has now been pushed back to the summer of 2020.
The Rams broke ground on the facility in November and it had initially been hoped that work would be finished by 2019. In May 2016, the NFL announced that Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles would host the Super Bowl in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
However, at May’s meeting owners voted unanimously to a change in strategy that will see Tampa drafted in for the 2021 game, while the Rams will host Los Angeles’ first Super Bowl since 1993 one year later. Tampa missed out in last year’s allocation of hosting rights and last staged the Super Bowl in 2009.