49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

May 17, 2013
Let's start the bidding: 49ers, Bay Area to learn Super Bowl fate Tuesday


At around noon on Tuesday, the Bay Area will learn whether it's hosting Super Bowl L, Super Bowl LI or neither.

Here's how it will play out. All three regions in the running for the two games - the Bay Area, South Florida and Houston - will give 15-minute presentations to the NFL owners who are holding a league meeting in Boston next week. The Bay Area and South Florida are bidding for Super Bowl L, which will be played in February 2016. The loser of that bid will take on Houston for the right to host Super Bowl LI in February 2017.

The NFL owners will vote by secret ballot and the ballots will be tabulated by NFL vice president of events Frank Supovitz. On the first vote, a region must get 75 percent of the votes to win. (In most years, there are three regions vying for the Super Bowl). If neither the Bay Area nor South Florida gets 75 percent, it goes to a second vote in which 75 percent also is needed. If that threshold still isn't met, a third vote is taken in which a simple majority is needed for the win.

At that point, Supovitz will hand the results to commissioner Roger Goodell, who will announce a winner. Then the voting will begin anew between the losing region and Houston. I'm told NFL Network will air the event.

It will be an upset if the Bay Area doesn't get Super Bowl L, the 50th game played and one that has more prestige than other recent games because it will reflect on all the past Super Bowls. It will be a colossal upset if the Bay Area gets shut out entirely.

By the time Super Bowl L rolls around, the 49ers will have the league's newest, most high-tech stadium. The $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium is the highlight of their presentation (whereas the stadium is the lowlight of South Florida's bid).

Fans will be able to go to the games cash-less, can order food and drinks from their seats, and WiFi will be available to all 75,000 in attendance. (The stadium will beef up from 68,500 seats to 75,000 for the Super Bowl). The venue will be equipped with so much solar power that it will give back to the grid, not draw from it.

Bay Area bid highlights:
* NFL's most modern stadium
* Owners' perks include tee times at Pebble Beach, dinner courtesy of French Laundry chef Thomas Keller
* Super Bowl-themed avenue along the Embarcadero in San Francisco
* 25 percent of money raised for the event will go to local charities. So far $30 million has been raised

Critique: The average temperature in Santa Clara in early February is 53 degrees. (Historical high: 74 degrees in 2009; low: 27 degrees in 1895).

South Florida bid highlights:
* Region has hosted 10 Super Bowls; excellent weather also makes the game low risk.
* An aircraft carrier would be anchored in Biscayne Bay, games will be played on a football field on its deck.
* Floating nightclubs on barges would be stationed in the bay; a "Hail Mary zipline" would fling fans across Bayfront Marina in translucent footballs.

Critique: NFL wants renovations at SunLife Stadium, and those upgrades unlikely to be completed before Super Bowl.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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