However, the NFL has used Super Bowls (much like MLB has done with All-Star Games) as a carrot to dangle in its stadium-building campaigns. And as the Tampa Bay Times' Drew Harwell writes, 14-year-old Raymond James Stadium will face stiff competition:
Eight newer stadiums have yet to field a Super Bowl, though nearly all are in northern climates typically cold for the late-winter game. The game next February in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium will be the first Super Bowl held in an outdoor northern stadium.Tampa's Super Bowl bid is secretive, but it most likely included a bevy of incentives and kickbacks for the NFL. That's just the norm these days as competition between cities often negates some of the benefits the Super Bowl is supposed to bring.
In fact, the league is in such a position of power over bidding cities, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Houston officials - after they built the new Reliant Stadium for the Texans - they should spend another $29 million to demolish the adjacent Astrodome to create 2,500 parking spots.
KHOU-TV reported Goodell called demolition a "game changer" in Houston's bid. Then the commish cranked up the pressure, saying, "That issue is for the community to decide, but I think having an extra 2,500 parking spaces would enhance Houston’s bid."
Houston officials actually refused to cave in to the pressure at the time and decided against blowing up the Astrodome. So how integral was that new parking to Houston's bid? They landed the 2017 Super Bowl anyway.