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Stadium delays see Los Angeles lose rights to 2021 Super Bowl

Delays to the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood have seen NFL American football league 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 showpiece game.

The announcement comes just days after the Rams said construction work on its $2.6bn (€2.37bn) 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 a meeting held yesterday (Tuesday) 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.

The Los Angeles Times newspaper said Tampa will host the 2021 game, providing both it and Los Angeles can prove by August 25 they can deliver on the terms and commitments of their bids.

“Bottom line is, (Rams owner) Stan (Kroenke) was incredibly cooperative on this,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, according to The Times. “He wants to do what’s right for the NFL. His No.1 objective is creating a quality stadium for the long term for the fans in Los Angeles. His commitment has not wavered on that. So what we felt was the right thing is, don’t put any risk to the Super Bowl, which is an incredibly complex event.”

Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ chief operating officer, added: “Our focus from the announcement last week was working with the NFL, the Super Bowl Committee and our sponsors in L.A., to make sure we could still deliver an unparalleled Super Bowl experience. This is Los Angeles’ first chance to host a Super Bowl since the early ’90s, and it has to be a game befitting the entertainment capital of the world and showcase the best that Los Angeles can be.

“If that means it’s a year later, then we are certainly willing to push back and make sure that we make the city proud. This has always been about hosting multiple Super Bowls, and making Los Angeles a permanent spot in the Super Bowl rotation. Not about getting the earliest one we can get.”

Tuesday’s owners’ meetings also saw developments in the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. Owners approved the Raiders’ lease with Las Vegas, allowing the team to proceed with a stadium financing plan for its new $1.9bn venue, which is also due to open in 2020.

“It’s like a first down in this long process, and now we have four more downs to go,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but it was a big step today in hopefully getting the shovels in the ground by the first of the year.”