They snagged the Big One. Congratulate the Super Bowl Bid Committee delegation and Miami Dolphins real-estate billionaire owner Stephen Ross. Their winning sales pitch got South Florida Super Bowl 54, which will be played at the renovated stadium in Miami Gardens in February 2020, the year the league will mark its 100th anniversary.
Thank you, NFL owners. Thank you, bid committee headed, by Rodney Barreto — and Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Larry Csonka, who personally made the presentation along with Mr. Ross, who deserves much credit for bringing the big game back. The dynamic duo went into their 15-minute presentation armed with a 526-page booklet.
By winning the honor of hosting the big game for the 11th time, Miami Dolphins stadium, whatever name it carries, is making history as being in the locale to host the NFL’s championship game the most number of times.
The game is four years away, but organizers will need every minute to prepare. We might be a little rusty — we haven’t hosted the Super Bowl in six years.
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The game and its bells and whistles are projected to attract more than $500 million in economic development for Miami-Dade and also Broward. Tourism officials in both counties have every reason to be thrilled. In Broward, the game already is a big win for tourism czar Nicki Grossman, who is retiring this year. It’s a great send-off given that she served on the bid committee.
More important, the awarding broke a curse. In recent years, we had been passed up for the honor. The last time we hosted was in 2010. By then, the Dolphins’ venue had become “stadium non grata” for many in the NFL. The moment it fell out of favor was seen across the world.
During halftime of the 2007 Super Bowl, as the late superstar Prince broke into his iconic anthem Purple Rain, it began raining — hard — at the roofless stadium. A deluge of monsoon proportions fell on the heroic Prince, who was absolutely fantastic. But our “sun, fun and sand” image took a trouncing.
The soggy optics, blamed on the lack of a roof, led to South Florida being rebuffed for the next few years, many believe.
It put Mr. Ross in a difficult position as he tried to get the county and the state — meaning taxpayers — to help renovate the stadium, privately built in 1987 by former Dolphins owner and founder Joe Robbie.
In 2013, after an 11th-hour failure to win funding from Tallahassee lawmakers, Mr. Ross gave up. He used $500 million of his own money for the stadium renovations currently under way. When finished, there will be a canopy over most seating areas, high-definition video boards and other amenities.
The league’s 31 other owners rewarded Mr. Ross for modernizing the aging stadium. He, like Mr Robbie, did it himself, something weary taxpayers should applaud, and other team owners here and beyond South Florida should note.
Another person that should be thrilled the Super Bowl is coming to town is Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. If he is re-elected to another four-year term this year, he will be in office during Super Bowl 2020.
Mr. Gilbert, a cheerleader for his city, recently said he wants national Super Bowl announcers to say the game is live from Miami Gardens, not South Beach, “which is what they’ll show on TV.”
Now, how cool would it be for the Miami Dolphins to be one of the Super Bowl teams in 2020?