NFL owners voted unanimously to move Super Bowl LV to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida at their annual spring meetings in Chicago. Super Bowl LV is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021.
Originally, Super Bowl LV was to be played at the $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, California to be shared by the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. The Rams and Chargers announced last week record rainfall in the Los Angeles area will push back the opening of the stadium from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020.
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NFL by-laws dictate a stadium cannot host a Super Bowl during its first two years of existence. A waiver can be obtained but must be approved by NFL owners. The Inglewood stadium is now scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI. Super Bowl LVI is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2022.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the brains and money behind the Inglewood stadium, has been “incredibly cooperative on this” and is focused on “creating a quality stadium for the long term for the fans in Los Angeles”.
“So, what we felt the right thing is don’t put any risk to the Super Bowl, which is an incredibly complex event,” Goodell said. “God forbid if there’s some other natural disaster, or something that might affect the schedule—which (Kroenke) does not obviously anticipate and feels comfortable with the time frame. It would put undue risk to the Super Bowl and to our fans. So, from our standpoint, we thought this was the appropriate thing to do.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams have until Aug. 25 to show their respective stadiums will be ready to host a Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers put together a bid to host Super Bowls LIII, LIV, and LV last year. Tampa was beaten out by Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles respectively. Renovations to Raymond James Stadium were recently approved. Raymond James Stadium currently seats 65,000 but can be expanded to 75,000.
The Tampa area hosted Super Bowls XVIII, XXV, XXXV, and XLIII. Super Bowls XXXV and XLIII were played at Raymond James Stadium.
“The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls, we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meeting the requirement for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021,” Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said. “Today’s announcement offers us the chance to showcase Tampa Bay’s unique ability to come together as a host for world-class events.”