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Tampa gets ’21 Super Bowl; L.A. delay to ’22

NFL owners voted unanimously Tuesday to move the Super Bowl in Los Angeles back a year — from 2021 to 2022 — and reward Tampa with the Super Bowl in 2021.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams now have 90 days — until Aug. 25 — to prove their respective facilities are on track to host the Super Bowl.

The Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium will now host Super Bowl LV, which was originally scheduled to be played at the $2.6 billion facility in Inglewood, California, that will be shared by the Rams and Chargers.

The Inglewood site, the brainchild of Rams owner Stan Kroenke, is now scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI.

The decision came down during Tuesday's owners meetings in Chicago, which took place days after the Rams and Chargers announced that record rainfall in Los Angeles had pushed the opening of the new stadium back a year. It will now open in the summer of 2020, and the league ultimately felt it was too risky to host a Super Bowl so close to the target date.

NFL rules dictate a team cannot host a Super Bowl in a stadium's inaugural season. A waiver, which must be approved by NFL owners, can negate that, but the league instead came to a compromise.

Record-setting rain this winter coincided with the mass excavation period of construction, causing significant delays in which developers basically lost the better part of two months in January and February.

Developers began working on the site in November. Climate research conducted before construction began allotted for 30 days of wiggle room for rain, but a six-month stretch from October through April produced 120 percent the amount of rain for a typical year in the area. In January, the region was on pace for the fifth-wettest winter in 80 years. At the site, the water was filling up the bottom of a 70-foot hole, causing 12- to 15-foot puddles and shutting down construction.

The new stadium, currently called L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, will seat 70,000 fans and include an adjacent, 6,000-seat performance venue, all of which will be the centerpiece of a site that will take up nearly 300 acres where the Hollywood Park Racetrack used to be.

The venue is expected to include a hotel, office space, retail and housing, and is also in the running to be a venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics if Los Angeles is selected as host.

"Stan's vision is unique," Rams COO Kevin Demoff said on a conference call last week. "I think it's an unbelievable responsibility for all of us who work on this project to make sure we deliver that for him, for the fans, for Angelenos, for the NFL and for the world when you talk about an event like the 2024 Olympics. It's much more important to get it right than to make sure you hit a certain date."

Tampa, meanwhile, approved renovations to Raymond James Stadium in 2016 that will upgrade to new HD video boards, sound system, suites, concessions and locker rooms. The current seating capacity is 65,000, but it is expandable to 75,000.

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.


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