The city of Houston has been selected as one of two finalists to host Super Bowl LI in February 2017.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that San Francisco and South Florida are the finalists to host Super Bowl L, the NFL's 50th Super Bowl. The runner-up will compete against Houston for the right to host LI.
“We’re going to have an outstanding bid and lobby hard and let the chips fall where they may,” Texans president Jamey Rootes said on Wednesday. “We’re going to do our very best to put our best foot forward.”
The 2016 and 2017 Super Bowl sites will be decided by a vote of NFL owners from May 20-22 during league meetings in Boston. Houston’s bid is being spearheaded by the Texans, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Harris County/Houston Sports Authority and Reliant Park.
"We all know we've got a fantastic city,” Rootes said. “We’ve got the best fans in the National Football League. We’ve got one of the great stadiums on the planet, and we have the most friendly people in the world. I think there are a lot of reasons why Houston ought to feel very optimistic about our chances. But it is the most competitive beauty pageant you can imagine. Everybody wants this game, and we’re going to go work hard to try to earn it for Houston."
This would be the third Super Bowl for the Bayou City. Houston hosted Super Bowl VIII in 1974 at Rice Stadium and Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 at Reliant Stadium, a 32-29 victory for the New England Patriots over the Carolina Panthers.
Reliant Stadium, which opened in 2002, was the first NFL stadium with a retractable roof. Miami’s Sun Life Stadium opened in 1987. It has been the site of five Super Bowls (1989, 1995, 1999, 2007 and 2010). A San Francisco Super Bowl would be played in the 49ers’ new Santa Clara Stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2014.
“One of the great strengths that we have is this stadium, Reliant Stadium, and the ability to decide a game under ideal conditions,” Rootes said. “Since the last time that we (hosted a Super Bowl), there’s been a game decided in a downpour, and when we go to New York (for Super Bowl IIL), who knows what the weather’s going to be like? But we know for sure at Reliant Stadium, the game is going to be decided under ideal conditions.”