May 23, 2005
Super Bowl decision this week

The NFL owners will get together on Wednesday and vote on who gets to host the Super Bowl in 2009. Houston and Atlanta are reported to remain the favorites for Super Bowl XLIII.

Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Miami are finalists for Super Bowl XLIII, and league sources say that, barring a major upset, either Houston or Atlanta will be awarded a third Super Bowl.

"I feel that we've got the best bid, but that doesn't always mean you're going to be awarded the game," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "Sometimes, other things factor into it. Its a political process.

"That's why I'm not ruling out anyone.

Heavyweights from Houston's political and business arenas are going to Washington to support or participate in the 15-minute presentation Wednesday that will be followed by secret ballots until one city gets a majority.

Heading the Houston contingent are McNair, Chuck Watson, chairman of the bid committee; mayor Bill White; Harris County judge Robert Echols; consultant Robert Dale Morgan, president and CEO of 2004 Houston Super Bowl Host Committee; Don Henderson, vice president and managing director of the Hyatt-Houston; Jordy Tollett, president of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Shea Guinn, president and general manager of Reliant Park; and Denis Braham, an attorney who heads the sports practice at Winstead Sechrest & Minick.

"We've received terrific support from the city and county," McNair said. "Mayor White and Judge Echols will be part of our presentation."

Yo! Copy edit! That's "Eckels".

McNair, who serves on NFL committees, has been working behind the scenes to help Houston host its second Super Bowl in six seasons.

"I'm talking with them, writing letters doing everything I can to solicit their support," McNair said about the other 31 owners.

The 2004 Super Bowl in which New England defeated Carolina 32-29 at Reliant Stadium was regarded as a smashing success by many NFL owners and executives who were impressed by the facilities, hospitality, entertainment venues and restaurants.

"We've done a lot of work, and we think we have a great bid," said Watson, who chaired the 2004 host committee. "We think we have a great bid, but I'm impressed with all the bids."

Each city has positives and negatives.

The main negative for Houston is that it hosted Super Bowl XXXIX. The main positive for Atlanta is enhancements to the Georgia Dome, which are supposed to be done by 2008. Alas, there's no word on how much of a factor making Bill "The Sports Wimp" Simmons cry will be. I wonder if the owners will let me file an amicus brief. Anyway, we'll find out on Wednesday who the lucky city is.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 23, 2005 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

You should make this into a little contest.

I say Atlanta gets it. Paul T always wants to push cities to upgrade their facilities. Hence Atlanta.

I don't see the thing coming back to Reliant for a long time, if ever. At some point, Jerry Jones' new playpen will be ready, and it will supplant Reliant as the best facility in Texas. So I guess we have to hold out hope of getting this one....

Posted by: kevin whited on May 23, 2005 8:35 AM

Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 will be available again in the next few years since there's no chance of the Jets getting a new stadium built by then. I expect it to go the way of the Westway Project (late 1970s - early 1980s NYC fiasco) in the next year or so.

Posted by: William Hughes on May 23, 2005 10:20 AM

If Kevin gets any more optimistic I don't think I can handle it. Kuff points out a Chron error (which I'm sure gave kw a web-gasim) and he's still dumping on Houston. I bet he's a closet Braves fan.

Bill White and Bob Eckels together, H-town is pulling out it's powerplayers.


Posted by: Red Dog on May 23, 2005 11:28 AM