By: Will Burchfield
Lions president Rod Wood knows bringing the Super Bowl back to Detroit is a longshot, but that isn’t going to stop him from trying.
Wood plans to submit Detroit in the next round of bidding to host the NFL’s premier event. (He’s also submitting a bid for the NFL Draft.)
Detroit last hosted the Super Bowl in 2006, ostensibly as a reward for building Ford Field in 2002.
“From the time that we had the last Super Bowl until now, the city has kind of remade itself. I think it would be a great showcase to show that to the world,” Wood told reporters at the owners meetings in Phoenix earlier this week.
The NFL typically awards the Super Bowl to warm-weather cities, which obviously doesn’t work in Detroit’s favor.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a hard one to win. I don’t think there’s been another northern city that’s got one beyond the one you get, typically, when you open a new stadium,” Wood said. “So that’s going to be a hard one to sell.”
Still, the Lions have a few things going for them. Their city is in the midst of a renaissance and their 15-year-old stadium, in which the team has invested approximately $100 million as part of an ongoing renovation process, remains one of the most well-regarded venues in the league.
“Personally, I think Ford Field is extremely well designed,” New York Giants go-owner Steve Tisch told Dave Birkett of the Free Press. “It’s a great football stadium. I like playing there when we play Detroit at your home. I think it’s a great facility, and I am also very sensitive to how important the city of Detroit is in the country.”
On top of that, the Lions and the Ford family have proven up to the task of hosting the Super Bowl in the past.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones raved about his experience at Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
“One of the greatest Super Bowls that I’ve ever gotten to attend is the Detroit Super Bowl. And it was so unique,” Jones told the Free Press. “I’ll never forget, when the Fords (did) it and it had Roger Penske, that Super Bowl that they put on there was one of the best. In my mind…it showed that a cold-weather-type city could really do it.”
Jones also praised the Lions’ hefty investment in Ford Field, calling it “a big asset for everybody.”
The location of the Super Bowl is locked up through 2021. Super Bowl LVI, to be played in 2022, is the next one to be bid upon.