It's not a secret that part of the deal with the new Falcons' stadium was always the allure of the return of the Super Bowl to Atlanta. With the decision this week to award the 2018 Super Bowl Minneapolis--to be played in the Vikings' fancy new stadium--the powers that be in Atlanta have made it abundantly clear that they would like their fancy new stadium to be considered as the site for the Super Bowl in 2019. A new stadium has to be fully operational for two years before it can be considered as a potential site for the Super Bowl, making 2019 the earliest the new stadium would be eligible for consideration.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn't pulling any punches. He wants to host a Super Bowl in his new stadium, and he wants it in 2019.
"2019 is our hope," Blank said. "That's our aspiration, and we'll see where that takes us, but that's our hope."
Blank isn't the only one on board. Falcons president Rich McKay had quite a bit to say on the subject as well. McKay specifically pointed to the strong public-private partnership between the Falcons organization and the city of Atlanta that is creating the funding for the new stadium.
"I think it's the right thing to do," said McKay. "It doesn't mean it has to be this next year. But it's the right thing to do and hopefully it'll happen."
When it comes to new stadiums, it often feels like the NFL pushes a, "if you build it, [a Super Bowl] will come," perspective, particularly when it comes to accessing funding sourced from public money. The idea is that a community that supports a new stadium with public money should be rewarded in the form of the outrageous revenue generated by a Super Bowl.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who spoke at the event, did not in any way acknowledge Atlanta's Super Bowl-hosting aspirations, but instead focused on the economic benefits the new stadium will bring to the city of Atlanta. He also pointed out wryly the fact that Arthur Blank had the lavish groundbreaking ceremony "in prime time." It was no accident.
With NFL owners meeting in Atlanta this week to determine, among other things, the site of the 2018 Super Bowl, Blank took the opportunity to make a strong case for a 2019 Super Bowl, while openly addressing any lingering concerns about the unfortunate ice storm that clouded Atlanta's last experience with hosting the Super Bowl.
"Welcome to a typical evening in Atlanta," Blank said. "So to my NFL partners who will one day vote for a Super Bowl, this is normal weather in Atlanta, even in February."
What do you think about Atlanta's chances to host the Super Bowl in the new stadium in 2019?