Miami Dolphins

August 6, 2014

South Florida in holding pattern in bid for Super Bowl 53

If Rodney Barreto has his way, the Super Bowl will return to South Florida in early 2019.

If Rodney Barreto has his way, the Super Bowl will return to South Florida in early 2019.

An important first step: He needs approval from the NFL to begin the formal application process.

Barreto, head of the South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee, told the Miami Herald on Wednesday he intends to make a bid to host Super Bowl 53. The expectation was that initial offer was due in August.

It was part of the reason there was such urgency created by the Dolphins to get their stadium deal through the Miami-Dade County Commission this summer.

And yet, the committee is in a holding pattern, as the league has apparently pushed pause on the process. A league spokesman said this week that “no timeline has been determined at this time for the bid process for 53.”

No further explanation was given, but some speculate it has to do with the departure of Frank Supovitz, the league’s longtime senior vice president of events.

Despite numerous attempts, South Florida hasn’t hosted a Super Bowl since 2010 (New Orleans vs. Indianapolis). The reason: aging Sun Life Stadium, and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ inability to get public assistance for his $350 million renovation plan.

Ross ultimately decided to use private dollars for the renovation but only after the county agreed to a subsidy program in which tax dollars will be awarded to the Dolphins for each major event held at the Miami Gardens facility. As part of the agreement, hosting the Super Bowl would result in a $4 million payment from the county to the Dolphins.

Barreto is a partner in a Coral Gables lobbying firm, Floridian Partners, that represents the Dolphins and managed the successful push for approval of the subsidy deal by commissioners on June 17.

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