NFL changes method for awarding Super Bowls

Shutdown Corner

If you live in a city that can host a Super Bowl, heads up: the NFL might be knocking on your door soon.

The NFL has announced a change to the way in which it awards Super Bowls to host cities, putting an end to the beauty pageant-style bidding that’s defined the last few decades. Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the NFL will now reach out to cities individually, offering them the opportunity to host a specific Super Bowl. If the city declines, the NFL would then revert to regular bidding.

Per PFT, the league would approach specific cities to host specific Super Bowls, with specific guidelines and expectations that the NFL would require. That’s a lot of specifics, yes, and if a city didn’t want to march to the NFL’s tune, well, others likely would. (And you can guess how well a rejection of the NFL would bode for a city’s future Super Bowl chances.)

Why the change? The NFL is attempting, Florio said, to reduce the number of disappointed cities hunting for each Super Bowl. But there are other ways to view the change. This move allows the NFL to control every aspect of the host community process; if, for instance, several less-than-desirable cities (come on, you know which ones) decided to bid for the Super Bowl, the NFL would be in the awkward position of awarding a Super Bowl to a city with a (horrors!) less-than-billion-dollar stadium.

The NFL may also be taking a page from the Olympics’ playbook. The Olympics simultaneously awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympics to Paris and Los Angeles, respectively, reasoning that keeping two willing cities in the tent is better than having one qualified city pack up and give up on bidding entirely.

So where does that leave us, going forward? The following cities will host upcoming Super Bowls:

2018: Minneapolis
2019: Atlanta
2020: Miami
2021: Tampa
2022: Los Angeles

Where will the biggest game of the year head starting in 2023? Well, let’s consider: by then, it’ll be a decade or more since Dallas and New Orleans have hosted Super Bowls, so you’ve got to figure they’re mortal locks. Las Vegas will be online by then, and NFL fans are already salivating over the prospect of a Super Bowl in Sin City. Indianapolis and New York could be one-and-done sites like Jacksonville was, but Phoenix will still be in the mix, and we’ll be coming back around to San Francisco and Houston by then, too. And if Washington gets its new stadium built in the mid-2020s, it’ll likely get the prize of a Super Bowl as a housewarming gift, too.

Tom Brady, Super Bowl winner. (Getty)
Tom Brady, Super Bowl winner. (Getty)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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