Miami, San Francisco, and Houston all have their Super Bowl bids in to the NFL, as per a Twitter tweet sent out by Frank Supovitz, the Senior Vice President of Special Events for the National Football League, and the man commonly known as “Mr. Super Bowl.”
It’s official-all 3 final bids for Super Bowl L and LI-from Houston, San Francisco, & So. Florida r in the house.Owners vote 5/21.
— Frank Supovitz (@SupEvents) May 8, 2013
In a visit to Houston for an two-day on site inspection of Super Bowl-related venues as part of that city’s bid to host Super Bowl LI, Mr. Supovitz told John McCain of the Houston Chronicle, “Our job at the NFL is to make sure the owners have three incredible proposals to choose from.”
Thus, if a bid has a deficiency somewhere, Frank will work with the that city’s bid manager to solve the problem.
How The NFL Helped Oakland’s Bid
For example, when I worked to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland, our final bid was submitted with hotel contracts representing only 7,821 of the 17,000 rooms needed according to the specifications at the time – which are still in place.
To help us make our bid stronger, Jim Steeg, Frank Supovitz’ predecessor, took note of the political difficulties I had, and said that a letter from one convention and visitors bureau would work as a kind of “place holder.” The political issue of the time was that then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown wasn’t so fully on board with the Super Bowl Bid effort that then-City Manager Robert Bobb had established, and asked me to run. We never went to the Oakland City Council on the matter, which in retrospect was a mistake, but that was Mr. Bobb’s call. Meanwhile, Brown was quoted, at one point in 1999, saying to a group of Chinese business people that the Super Bowl should be in San Francisco, and not Oakland – and he was the Mayor of Oakland.
Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was against the Oakland Super Bowl Bid because he was under the impression that if Oakland got the bid, San Francisco would never have a chance to get it. I explained to Mayor Brown of SF that if San Francisco built a new stadium, they were automatically invited to bid to host a Super Bowl. I told that to Willie Brown, time and again, and I even created a news story with the help of KTVU’s Rita Williams (who’s since retired) which got Brown’s view into the public eye, showing the battle I was facing.
All of that hampered our ability to get some hotel general managers to sign on. That said, we had a good number of helpers, including a number of members of the San Francisco Hotel Council who felt Willie was being silly.
Still, we were under in rooms under contract.
Finally, we got the help we needed in a letter from the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau that pledged 15,000 hotel rooms for the four room nights before the game. The San Mateo CVB was one of the first organizations I lobbied when I started working on the Super Bowl: Oakland project in 1999. The relationship-building paid off – we got the letter that helped us, and that, along with Jerry Brown’s great speech at the Atlanta Fall NFL Owners Meeting of 2000, put us into a place where the Oakland team did better in votes received than we expected to do.
All of that is to say that those who may be counting Miami’s Super Bowl Bid as dead in the water after last week’s political disaster are a bit premature. Regardless of what Dolphins CEO Mike Dee says to the media (and really, Dee should stop talking right now, my advise), Frank will not allow them to just submit a weak bid, and leave it at that.
And if Stephen Ross is really out there trying to drum-up NFL Votes, it’s not over.
But consider this: San Francisco 49ers Owner John York and team President and CEO Jed York aren’t sitting on their butts either – they’re working. Plus, they’ve got a new naming rights agreement, and a new stadium on top of the other improvements to the bid they’re working on.
And then there’s Houston’s Bid, which has the only real glaring issue of needing more parking spaces. As I’ve said before, Houston has the strongest bid right now, but that’s not up to me – it’s up to the Jim Irsays and Jerry Jones of the NFL.
It’s not over, till it’s over.