NFL notes: Super Bowls awarded to Bay Area, Houston as Miami gets shut out

Posted Tuesday, May. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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In one of the least suspenseful Super Bowl votes in recent years, NFL owners awarded Super Bowl L, in 2016, to the San Francisco/Santa Clara area and Super Bowl LI, in 2017, to Houston on Tuesday, shutting out Miami, which until a few weeks ago was a heavy favorite to host the 50th game.

Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls and remains a favorite site for them, but the twin defeats were an indication of the NFL’s dissatisfaction with the condition of 26-year-old Sun Life Stadium and with the Miami Dolphins’ inability to secure financing for renovations the team and the league feel are necessary to make it competitive with state-of-the-art stadiums like the one under construction in Santa Clara and Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The NFL had hoped to put the 50th Super Bowl in Miami, to celebrate the legacy of the game in a place that has hosted some of its most memorable moments. And Miami would almost certainly have won the bidding for it had a referendum on use of tax dollars and rebates to pay for stadium renovations passed — an iffy proposition in an area still seething over the public financing of the ballpark for the Miami Marlins, whose payroll has since been slashed by ownership.

Stephen Ross, the Dolphins owner, has said he will not foot the entire $350 million bill for upgrades to the stadium, which opened in 1987. When the Florida legislature did not allow the controversial referendum to be held, the planned renovations stalled, perhaps indefinitely.

The 2014 and 2015 Super Bowls will be held at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, N.J., and the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Teaming up

The NFL and Microsoft, through its next generation Xbox device, are combining to upgrade interactive TV viewing of pro football games in a multiyear agreement announced Tuesday. The next step after that, perhaps as early as 2014, will be bringing technology to the sidelines on tablets.

The deal is worth $400 million over five years for the NFL, according to a person familiar with the agreement.

Fans will get new television viewing innovations including the ability to watch games, Skype video chat with other fans, view statistics, access highlights in real time, and gather fantasy information about players and teams – all on a single screen. For those who prefer multiple screens, fans can get an even deeper experience on mobile devices and tablets with SmartGlass technology.

Briefly

• Falcons: NFL team owners voted to lend the Falcons $200 million for their new multi-purpose stadium in Atlanta. Taxpayers will contribute another $200 million and owner Arthur Blank would pay the rest of the expected $1 billion total. The Falcons have played in the Georgia Dome since 1992 and hope to have their new home ready in 2017.

• Packers: Rookie offensive lineman J.C. Tretter, a fourth-round pick from Cornell, is expected to miss six months after breaking an ankle during organized team activities.

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