NFL Glad Tampa Showed Them The Money

About $100 million worth of improvements to the Buccaneers stadium was enough of an incentive for NFL owners to bring a Super Bowl to Tampa.


The National Football League’s motto ought to be cash on the barrelhead. It was a cash infusion of more than $100 million to get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium up to NFL Super Bowl standards that persuaded NFL owners to say yes to Tampa getting a Super Bowl, which will happen in 2021, the year that the Los Angeles Rams new facility in Inglewood was supposed to get the game. But a much rainy than usual winter season in Southern California delayed building construction and the Inglewood facility will now open in 2020. In December 2015, the Buccaneers ownership and the Tampa Sports Authority completed a deal calling for $100 million worth of renovations to the stadium. About $29 million was extracted from local taxpayers with Buccaneers owners picking up the rest in exchange for concessions that included allowing Buccaneers ownership to schedule a home game at another site beginning in the 2018.


The NFL could have staged a Super Bowl in Inglewood had Al Davis not taken his Raiders back to Oakland in 1995. The NFL wanted Davis to stay in the Los Angeles market and got involved in Davis’s negotiations with the owners of the parking lot at the Hollywood Park racetrack. The original deal that was cut and that included five Super Bowls over a ten-year period to help Davis pay for his stadium and would have included all the revenue gadgets including club seats, luxury boxes and restaurants. But “the great taffy pull” ended the negotiations. The NFL reneged from five Super Bowls over a ten-year period pledge and revised the deal down to three then one Super Bowl. The NFL told Davis that a second team would play in the stadium one year after it opened and that Davis would have to share the revenue streams with the other franchise. That was a deal breaker and Davis took Oakland’s offer. Money talks.


Tampa gets the 2021 Super Bowl with Inglewood pushed back to 2022.