The decision came down Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times wrote, and it was unanimous among NFL commissioners. That year's game was originally slated for Los Angeles, but due to delays in construction of a new stadium there, the whole deal had to be moved. That's because league rules require a new stadium to be open for at least a year before it hosts such a major event. Gotta make sure a stadium can handle actually being a stadium, ya know.
It'll be the city's fourth time hosting the event, which is (supposedly) a major tourism and economic development driver given the media spotlight that helps serve as millions in free advertising for the locale. Oh, and the thousands of people coming to the city for the game itself. Raymond James Stadium may be a bit of a haul from Tampa's increasingly scenic downtown, but the Riverwalk and UT's Minarets could serve as a lovely backdrop for interviews and commentary leading up to the event (better than, say, a Chevy dealership on Dale Mabry). Networks would get a pretty shot, and we'd get more people interested in visiting. Win-win, we reckon.
Given recent high-caliber events the city has hosted, including the 2012 Republican National Convention and the 2014 Bollywood annual awards ceremony, to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tuesday's news was more proof the city can pull off major undertakings.
“Being awarded Super Bowl 2021 is a testament to our city’s ability to shine on the international stage. Tampa does big events as well as anybody in the world and once again we will rise to the occasion. We look forward to working to meet the host requirements over the weeks ahead," he said in a written statement. “Thank you to the NFL and network of owners who voted unanimously on this move. We will not disappoint.”