“By a vote of the NFL clubs, Super Bowl LI in 2017 has been awarded to Houston.”
The Visitors Bureau and Houston First, which manages the George R. Brown Convention Center, are part of Houston’s Super Bowl Bid Committee.
It will be the third Super Bowl played in Houston after 1974 and 2004.
John Gonzalez, director of events at the George R. Brown, says each of the candidate cities had a good pitch and he wasn’t sure if Houston was going to get the big game.
“It’s just a bunch of excitement. Our team, our communities worked really hard in preparation for this event. Just to see us get selected the host of the 2017 Super Bowl and get a chance what our city and hospitality is all about is just truly amazing.”
Ric Campo, head of Houston’s Super Bowl Bid Committee, was in Boston to make the case for Houston. He says he feels great about the decision.
“We didn’t expect it to be a slam dunk or anything but we were prepared and we were confident that we put forth a great bid and that we were very, very competitive with Miami.”
The owners first awarded San Francisco Super Bowl L in 2016. South Florida, the other contender for that year, then went up against Houston for 2017. But a Miami Dolphins stadium in need of renovations most likely sealed South Florida’s fate after the Florida Legislature refused to approve funding for the stadium earlier this month.
But Campo says what made the difference for Houston were primarily three components: diversity, quality of life, and the collaboration of city, county and the business community.
But he acknowledges the stadium played a role, too.
“Ultimately, you have to have the facilities that match, you know, your other civic assets, and we have Reliant and they don’t.”
Now, the Houston Super Bowl Bid Committee becomes the host committee. Campo says that means in the next few months the committee will be expanded to a bigger group, including at least 10,000 volunteers.