Technically speaking, Tampa is in the running for Super Bowls in 2019 and 2020.
But unless the Glazer family comes up with a plan (i.e. money) to upgrade Raymond James Stadium, those bids might not go anywhere in the face of new and renovated buildings elsewhere.
Via Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, the Buccaneers are “currently negotiating” with the Tampa Sports Authority and Hillsborough County officials on plans to refurbish the 17-year-old stadium. Team COO Brian Ford is described as “confident” those plans will materialize soon.
Without them, the Bucs may have a hard time landing the big game.
The NFL has long used Super Bowls as both carrot and stick to leverage new stadiums and upgrades to existing ones.
Atlanta figures to be a shoe-in for building a brand new retractable roof facility next to the Georgia Dome, and with Los Angeles entering the mix for a title game soon, competition is going to be tough. That’s why Dolphins owner Stephen Ross just poured in $400 million to improve Sun Life Stadium.
“We got invited this time because basically Mr. Ross committed to make all the renovations,’’ Rodney Barreto, the chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Committee said.
So unless the Glazers are willing to make (or find someone to make) a similar investment, it might be some time before the Super Bowl returns to Central Florida.