Houston Super Bowl committee in Boston to make its pitch for Super Bowl LI in 2017

May 20, 2013 8:09:03 PM PDT
Houston is making its pitch to get an upcoming Super Bowl. The Bayou City will compete with bids from either Miami or from the San Francisco area for Super Bowl 51 in 2017.

On Tuesday afternoon, we should know if months of work have paid off for the Houston Super Bowl Committee. In a presentation scheduled for Tuesday morning, the committee will make its pitch for the Bayou City.

We were there to welcome the Houston bid committee to Boston as the drive to land Super Bowl LI nears the finish line.

"Think of it as the fourth quarter, you know, maybe five minutes left," said Ric Campo, Chairman of the Houston Super Bowl Committee.

Campo packed an autographed Texans football and helmet for the trip, and well-wishes from Texans owner Bob McNair.

Campo said, "We are confident. We're confident because we have a great package that makes a lot of sense for the NFL to wanna come here."

His 15-minute presentation on Tuesday will focus briefly on football and world-class Reliant Stadium, but mostly on the city of Houston and the surrounding area.

"We were named coolest city in America by Forbes. We were named to the top ten places in world to visit by the New York Times, of all publications," he said.

The area around Discovery Green is the heart of Houston's bid. It will be dubbed Super Bowl El Centro, complete with a week and a half of Super Bowl celebrations.

Campo said, "The 10 day aspect of the games and having it centered in downtown with all this infrastructure that we've put in, and are going to put in, will make it probably one of the best events the NFL has ever seen."

Houston is competing against the city that loses out on Super Bowl L in 2016, the 50th edition of the game.

With the Dolphins unable to secure public funding to refurbish Sunlife Stadium in Miami, San Francisco is the favorite to host Super Bowl L. That means Houston's chances of hosting the Super Bowl LI in 2017 potentially look good.

We won't know for sure until the owners vote Tuesday morning. A three-quarters majority of the 32 owners is required on tha first ballot Tuesday. If neither city gets that, then a simple majority wins on the next ballot.

Houston hosted the 2004 game.

Texans owner Bob McNair is cautious about his city's chances, even with South Florida's political and financial struggles.

"Certainly what happened doesn't help Miami's bid. There's no doubt about that," McNair said. "But that doesn't say that the owners couldn't decide to still go to Miami."

For years, it was thought the NFL would seek to stage the 50th Super Bowl in Los Angeles, where the first one was played (but did not sell out) on Jan. 15, 1967. But with no franchise in LA and no suitable stadium projects approved, that hope disappeared.

Next Feb. 2, the game goes outdoors in a cold-weather site for the first time, at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands. If that gamble pays off for the NFL, look for other cities in similar climates -- Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver -- to bid for future Super Bowls.

The league also has expressed great satisfaction with how Indianapolis handled the big game in 2012. New Orleans is a regular bidder, and Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the power outage during last year's game will not impact voting on the Big Easy hosting another Super Bowl.

The 2015 game will be played in the Phoenix area.

Eyewitness Sports Director Greg Bailey is in Boston and will have live reports.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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