Posted: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, 2013
By David Fucillo
The cities of San Francisco and Santa Clara are currently competing against Miami/South Beach for the right to host Super Bowl 50, and the Bay Area may have gained a small edge. Bids from the two regions are due May 1, and Miami might already have a negative mark on their bid.
According to the Miami Herald, the NFL asks for a broad range of tax exemptions, including hotel and parking tax exemptions for NFL employees. The South Florida Super Bowl committee told the Miami Herald that they rejected the league's request for the hotel tax exemption.
On the other hand, the Herald is reporting that Santa Clara would grant the NFL request. I don't know if this means San Francisco would grant the exemption as well. Although Santa Clara will hold the stadium, many of the events leading up to the game will take place north in San Francisco.
My favorite part of that article has to be the NFL proclaiming it to be optional, and just one part of the overall bid process:
Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, referred to a statement he issued Thursday night. The statement noted the exemption requests are optional and just one component of "the overall bid package that a community may weigh as part of the process to bring a Super Bowl that will generate hundreds of millions in economic impact and exposure."
I'm sure it is optional, but it makes me think of a line like, "The exemptions are optional, just like hosting the game is optional!" The NFL makes billions of dollars, but we gotta make sure and score the hotels and parking! I understand they're doing it for their employees, but God forbid they don't reimburse full expenses. Although, San Francisco does have some expensive hotels and parking!
This really goes more to the power of the NFL more than anything else. They can do just about what they please at times. It may bite them in the butt (see: concussion lawsuits), but for now, they're the biggest dude on the block. If they want cheaper hotels and parking, by gum they'll get it. That's swinging your power around.
As far as the Super Bowl bid is concerned, I remain convinced San Francisco will get Super Bowl 50. This is predicated on the Santa Clara stadium continuing on its current pace, but thus far the construction remains on target. Furthermore, the city of Santa Clara and the city of San Francisco are working together to make this happen. If the region was showing signs of discord, the NFL might be hesitant, particularly given the distance that will be traveled between San Francisco and Santa Clara on game day.