Super Bowl returning to Tampa in 2021

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BY SAM FARMER
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

Call it the Super Bowl Reshuffle.

Five days after the Los Angeles Rams announced their Inglewood stadium would be finished in 2020, a year later than the original plan, NFL owners unanimously voted to push the Los Angeles Super Bowl back a year until February 2022.

Tampa will host the 2021 game originally promised to L.A. – providing both cities can prove by Aug. 25 they can live up to all the terms and commitments of their bids.

“We wanted to make sure we do everything right, 100 percent,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.

“It’s a big deal for L.A. We have a Super Bowl, and that’s the important part.”

Fifth in Tampa
It will be the fifth Super Bowl hosted by Tampa, which last did so in 2009 when Pittsburgh defeated Arizona.

There has not been a Super Bowl held in the L.A. area since Dallas defeated Buffalo at the Rose Bowl in January 1993.

The upcoming Super Bowls will be played, in order, in Minneapolis, Atlanta, South Florida, Tampa and Los Angeles.

L.A. would have needed a waiver from the league to host the 2021 game, because NFL rules prohibit playing a Super Bowl at a stadium in the venue’s inaugural year. However, the notion of a waiver was not seriously discussed Tuesday. The Tampa plan was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. That city was a finalist when the league awarded the game to L.A. a year ago.

The decision Tuesday solved two problems. It gave L.A. some breathing room, and it rewarded Tampa, which had fallen short in multiple Super Bowl bids in recent years.

“Bottom line is, Stan was incredibly cooperative on this,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

“He wants to do what’s right for the NFL. His No. 1 objective is creating a quality stadium for the long term for the fans in Los Angeles. His commitment has not wavered on that. So what we felt was the right thing is, don’t put any risk to the Super Bowl, which is an incredibly complex event.

… It would put an undue risk to the Super Bowl and to our fans.”

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