L.A. Stadium Delay May Impact Vegas Super Bowl Hopes

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With a lease now signed, sealed and approved by NFL cohorts for his team to ultimately take up residency at a new stadium in Las Vegas, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis wasted no time pondering another potential layer of the equation: a Sin City Super Bowl.

Davis said during the NFL spring meetings this week that he fully expects to bid on either or both of the next two available Super Bowls -- in 2023 and 2024 -- for the $1.9 billion stadium to be constructed in Vegas.

"Sure. Absolutely," Davis said.

Given his future home's reputation, someone asked Davis to project the odds of getting either Super Bowl.

"One out of 32," he quipped.

But it might not be as automatic as it used to be.

Another matter of business conducted at the one-day league meeting could provide owners with reason for pause when it comes to awarding Super Bowls for stadiums that have yet to be completed.

On Tuesday, the league pushed back its plan to stage Super Bowl LV in 2021 in the $2.1 billion football palace that Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke will build in Inglewood, Calif. Construction delays caused by weather have slowed down delivery of the facility until 2020. Kroenke recently told USA TODAY Sports that there were 32 construction days lost due to heavy rainfall in California.

Tampa, which was the runner-up to Los Angeles for the 2021 Super Bowl, will now host that game while L.A. stages Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

Davis, a member of the Super Bowl committee, acknowledged the risk in awarding the game to sites with projects under construction -- though that has generally worked out in multiple situations, as Super Bowls have often been awarded as a bonus to cities with new stadiums, often in their second year of operation. Minneapolis' new building will host Super Bowl LII this season. "It's something we will talk about," he said of the committee.

The Raiders' Las Vegas facility is scheduled to be ready by 2020.

The NFL could have granted Los Angeles a waiver that would have excluded it from the league's policy of not staging a Super Bowl in the first year of a new stadium's operation.

But Commissioner Roger Goodell pointed to Kroenke's cooperation for pushing back the game's L.A. return.

Obviously, it's a costly delay. Davis, whose defunct joint L.A. bid with the Chargers lost out to Kroenke's deal last year, estimated the price tag of additional labor costs for the Los Angeles stadium will be in the $100 million range.

"It's a lot of money," Kroenke told USA TODAY Sports. "But it's the right thing to do (in pushing back the Super Bowl). The important thing is for L.A. to have a great Super Bowl. This is the best solution."

And maybe a teaching moment, too, for the timing of Super Bowl awards.

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May 25, 2017


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