NFL Wire News

Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl bid could hinge on renovation deal


The Sports Xchange

The owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pushing to upgrade Raymond James Stadium for the team to have a chance to host one of the Super Bowls in 2019 and 2020.

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune reported the Buccaneers and the team owners — the Glazer family — are “currently negotiating” with the Tampa Sports Authority and Hillsborough County officials on plans to refurbish the 17-year-old stadium.

Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford is described as “confident” those plans will materialize soon.

Four cities — Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Atlanta — have been invited to bid for the right to host the next two available Super Bowls in 2019 and 2020. All the bids will go before NFL owners for a vote next May.

Miami and New Orleans each have hosted the Super Bowl 10 times. Tampa Bay has hosted four Super Bowls while Atlanta has hosted two.

The Buccaneers franchise got a lift recently during the 2015 NFL Draft with the selection of quarterback Jameis Winston as the No. 1 overall pick after a 2-14 season last year.

The Tampa, Fla., region has a year to submit a proposal to convince owners to return the title game to Raymond James Stadium for the first time since the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied past the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our past Super Bowls,” Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, told the Tampa Tribune. “We’ve tried to take the lessons we’ve learned and work with our community partners. I think we have a compelling case.”

Dolphins owner Steve Ross has stepped up to personally finance most of the $400 million in improvements to Sun Life Stadium.

“We got invited this time because basically Mr. Ross committed to make all the renovations,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Committee.

The Superdome has undergone major upgrades in recent years since hosting Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

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