New 49ers stadium centerpiece to Bay Area's Super Bowl bid

New 49ers stadium centerpiece to Bay Area's Super Bowl bid
May 20, 2013, 7:00 am
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The NFL has already been provided with a map that includes added Super Bowl seats for Levi's Stadium. 

BOSTON -- Nearly 20 years ago, the NFL awarded a Super Bowl to the Bay Area. On Tuesday, it is expected to happen again when league owners get together to vote on the locations for Super Bowls 50 and 51.

And this time, the Bay Area appears capable of fulfilling its commitment to ensure the game will actually kick off.

"It's not a question of whether people wanted to come here in the past," said Daniel Lurie, head of the Bay Area's Super Bowl bid committee.

"It's the fact that we were missing one key thing, and that's a place to play the greatest game. And we have that now. We have this tremendous facility going up very quickly that will be a great place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl."

The 49ers' future Santa Clara home, recently named Levi's Stadium, is nearing the halfway point of its construction. It is scheduled to replace dilapidated Candlestick Park at the start of the 2014 season.

Candlestick, which opened for baseball's San Francisco Giants in 1960, has been the 49ers' home since 1971. It is scheduled for demolition in early 2014 after one final season.

The Bay Area hosted one previous Super Bowl. In 1985, Joe Montana and the 49ers rolled to a 38-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium.

In 1994, the NFL awarded Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 to Candlestick Park. But the game never happened because San Francisco could not come up with $30 million in necessary stadium renovations.

After San Francisco lost the 1999 game, then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue promised the Bay Area would get a Super Bowl 18 months after the completion of a new stadium. Finally, that time is now within sight.

In 1997, San Francisco voters narrowly approved a $100 million bond measure to help fund a new 49ers stadium on Candlestick Point. But after the York's took control of ownership from Eddie DeBartolo, it was decided the old plan was not feasible. The Yorks ultimately decided the most logical site for a new stadium was in Santa Clara.

In 2010, Santa Clara voters approved a new plan for a 68,500-seat stadium on the site of the 49ers' year-round training facility, near Great America amusement park.

Groundbreaking was April 2012. All the steel work in the $1.2 billion stadium is complete. The stadium is the central element of the Bay Area bid, which will be formally presented with a 15-minute pitch to NFL owners on Tuesday.

The NFL requires Super Bowl stadiums have a capacity of 70,000 or greater. The stadium is being built to accommodate additional seating to 75,000. The league has already been provided with a map that includes the added seats for Levi's Stadium, Lurie said.

The Bay Area is up against Miami for the right to host Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The losing bid will match up against Houston for Super Bowl 51 in 2017.

The Bay Area bid is expected to win Super Bowl 50 because Miami's quest for stadium upgrades was derailed two weeks ago when the Florida Legislature did not vote on a bill that would have taken the first step toward providing public money for the project.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area committee has been focused on its own situation.

"We know about them, and it has not affected us one bit," Lurie said of Miami's troubles. "In fact, we feel like we just put our foot on the gas even harder. We are absolutely taking nothing for granted.

"We know this vote is in hands of the 32 owners, not in the hands of anybody else. So we're going to put our best foot forward on Tuesday. Miami has hosted it 10 times. They do a really good job. So we know we have tough competition."

The Bay Area committee delivered its comprehensive bid to NFL owners two weeks ago with the complete package delivered on Apple iPad Minis.

Lurie, founder and CEO of Tipping Point Community, and Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO of SF Travel, will deliver the Bay Area's 15-minute presentation to NFL owners on Tuesday.

After the three bid committees address the owners from 1:30 p.m. (ET) to 2:15 p.m., the owners of the teams representing the three Super Bowl cities will have opportunities for five minutes of remarks. Jed York, the 49ers' CEO, is expected to address the owners at that time.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to make the announcement of which site has been chosen for Super Bowl 50 at approximately 3 p.m. (noon, PT), shortly after the owners vote. The location for Super Bowl 51 will also be announced Tuesday.

"We feel like there's no better place to host, either 50 or 51," Lurie said. "We'll be happy with either. Obviously, they put us in the running for 50, so we're going all-in on 50. But we'll be excited about either. And we feel confident about our chances."

The Bay Area bid committee has raised $30 million in pledges from partners including Apple, Boston Consulting Group, Dignity Health, Gap, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Yahoo!, Seagate, and ValueAct Capital.

The group announced 25 percent of the funds raised for the Super Bowl bid will go directly to philanthropic efforts that help children and families living in poverty in the Bay Area.

This Super Bowl will truly be a Bay Area-wide effort, Lurie said. The bid includes more than 22,000 hotel rooms set aside throughout the Bay Area. He said he has heard from hotels in Napa. And tee times have been lined up for Pebble Beach.

The NFL Experience will be set up in San Francisco. The Fox Theater in Oakland is a venue that could be among those hosting events. Cal, Stanford and San Jose State have offered their athletic facilities to the participating teams from the NFC and AFC.

"We're going to drive home that we're the center of innovation," Lurie said. "We're going to make this the most philanthropic Super Bowl ever. We're going to drive home what an unbelievable stadium we have, and why this region is such a great place to visit. It's great for the fans. It's great for the owners. It's great for the NFL, and we're excited to share that with them."