Owners' Decision About 2011 Super Bowl Host Seemingly Was a Money Decision
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The decision by the NFL's team owners here Tuesday to award the 2011 Super Bowl to the Dallas area instead of Indianapolis seems to have been made largely for financial reasons.
The Cowboys and Colts both have new stadiums on the way. The domed stadium in Indianapolis, scheduled to open in 2008, will have a capacity of about 72,000 seats. That's considerably smaller than the $1 billion, retractable-roof facility scheduled to open in 2009 in Arlington, Tex. The Cowboys' new stadium is to have a capacity of about 100,000 for special events like the Super Bowl. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that another 20,000 or so fans could occupy the two open-air plazas that will be at the ends of the stadium.
That difference in capacity made for a sizable difference in the two bids' projected revenues.
"That venue was significant," Jones said.
Said Colts President Bill Polian: "When you do your best and you come up short, there's nothing you can do but come back and try again."
Phoenix also submitted a bid to host the game, which was the next available Super Bowl, but was a long shot because it already is hosting next year's Super Bowl.
Representatives of the three contending cities made presentations to the owners Tuesday, and the owners voted on their fourth ballot to award the game to Dallas. The voting was said to be extremely close, with one owner saying that Dallas prevailed by only a 17-15 margin over Indianapolis after Phoenix was eliminated.
The Dallas presentation was spearheaded by former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. The Indianapolis bid was presented by Colts Coach Tony Dungy and included a top-10 list presented by Indianapolis native David Letterman in a taped segment.
It will be the third Super Bowl played in Texas, following games at Rice Stadium in 1974 and Houston in 2004.
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