As revealed last week, the Chargers and Rams’ new stadium opening in Los Angeles has been delayed a year. Due to the stadium’s new opening now scheduled for the start of the 2020 season and NFL rules that state a new stadium cannot host a Super Bowl, the Big Game has been moved to Tampa Bay, Fla.
Joint statements released by the Chargers and Rams placed the delay reason on record rainfall in the L.A. area. There is some skepticism as to what the real reason is (and considerable added costs), but regardless, this impacts Super Bowl LV.
Here is the announcement posted on NFL.com:
“…the league requires stadiums to be open for two seasons before they can host a Super Bowl. Owners would have needed to approve a waiver for L.A. to host the Big Game since it’s now not scheduled to open until 2020.”
Tampa Bay 2020
Both the Chargers and Rams declined to request a waiver, thus opening the way for Tampa to host the 2020 edition of the Super Bowl.
Tampa bid for Super Bowl LV, with the city being a finalist before the game was awarded to Los Angeles. To the league, this was still a strong enough bid that shifting the game from L.A. did not pose any substantial risks.
Los Angeles 2021
Don’t worry, Angelinos; L.A. was not left out in the cold (or rain). Instead of hosting Super Bowl LV in 2020, L.A. will now host Super Bowl LVI, thus fulfilling the NFL requirement of having a stadium operational for two years after opening.
Rams COO Kevin Demoff issued a statement on the team’s website both defending the decision not to request a waiver and promising to deliver on the conditions that originally got the league to award the Super Bowl to Los Angeles:
“In the past week, we have worked with the NFL on the resolution that was presented and are supportive of the NFL Owners’ decision to play Super Bowl LV in Tampa and to have Los Angeles host Super Bowl LVI in 2022. Over the next 90 days, we will continue to work with our partners across the Los Angeles region, including the Chargers, to deliver the elements promised in the bid that was approved last year.”
What it takes to host a Super Bowl
Some of the demands are straightforward, like requesting extra security and police escorts at no cost, a common refrain for the NFL. But others are somewhat of a headscratcher.
For example, in order to be eligible, the NFL demands non-NFL facilities so that the league can host special events leading up to the Super Bowl. Included are the use, again at no cost to the NFL, of three golf courses, two premium bowling lanes and stadium perks such as premium parking and seating, all also rent free.
Reader’s Digest has an interesting run down of some of the more extravagant demands, like the hosting stadium being asked to rip the playing field up at their expense for the NFL to sell pieces as “licensed products.”
Another year at Stub Hub for the Chargers and questions
Feb 22, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; General overall view of Los Angeles Chargers logo on the scoreboard at the StubHub Center. The venue will serve as the home of the Chargers for 2017 and 2018 seasons as part of owner Dean Spanos (not pictured) relocation of the franchise from San Diego. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aside from the Chargers playing another year at Stub Hub and the Rams at the Colosseum, a few questions arise due to the new stadium opening timetable.
- Will the teams delay any planned changes in uniforms?
- Will Philip Rivers still be around to play in the new stadium? I certainly hope so.
- Will Chargers DE Melvin Ingram and Rams DT Aaron Donald, both of whom missed the first day of organized team activities (OTAs), still be playing in L.A. in 2020?
The added year also gives the teams time to improve upon their failed 2016 campaigns, with an eye towards winning records for the L.A. Stadium’s inaugural season.
Here’s to Super Bowl LVI being an all Los Angeles edition, with the L.A. Rams vs the L.A. Chargers (and hopefully Rivers and Ingram vs. Donald and whoever is QB for the Rams then) playing at the two-year old Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park for the heart of L.A. and ultimate L.A. bragging rights.
Until then, get ready to enjoy some new and creative celebrations, courtesy of changes to the NFL’s celebration rules.
— NFL (@NFL) May 24, 2017