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NFL, Marketers Eye San Francisco Bay Area, Miami For Historic Super Bowl L 

By Barry Janoff

October 17, 2012: The news that Beyoncé would be the headline act during the Pepsi Halftime Show at Super Bowl XLVII was all but overshadowed by bigger news that the NFL has narrowed down its search for a city to host its historic Super Bowl L.

According to the NFL, the venue that will host the 50th Super Bowl, scheduled for February 2016, would be either Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, or the new stadium being built in Santa Clara, Calif. for the San Francisco 49ers, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2014 season.

The NFL said the decision would likely be made at the owners meeting in May 2013. The Super Bowl Host Committees from the respective team cities were invited to submit Super Bowl L bids earlier this year, according to the NFL.

The game is scheduled to be broadcast Feb. 7, 2016 on CBS.

Based on the marketing strategies that supported Super Bowl XL in Detroit's Ford Field in 2006, when NFL partners began to activate some 18 months prior to the game, activation for Super Bowl L could begin as early as 2014.

The league also said it would select the host venue for Super Bowl LI, scheduled for February 2017, from between Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, and the site not selected to host Super Bowl L. Reliant Stadium was the site of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

The last time San Francisco Bay Area hosted the NFL's big game was Super Bowl XIX in 1985 in Stanford Stadium.

"We are excited to bid for the first Super Bowl in the Bay Area since January of 1985,” Jed York, CEO for the 49ers, said in a statement. “Nothing brings a region together like a Super Bowl. Now we have to work together to show the new stadium in Santa Clara will put on a great show.”

Sun Life Stadium most recently hosted Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. Since opening in 1987, the venue has hosted five Super Bowls; prior to that, Miami's Orange Bowl also hosted five Super Bowls, including Super Bowl II (then known as the Second AFL-NFL World Championship Game) in 1968.

There was some discussion regarding playing Super Bowl L in Los Angeles, where Super Bowl I (then known as the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game) was held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967. The city recently gave significant approval to moving ahead with the construction of Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles, with the condition that a current NFL franchise agrees to relocate to the L.A., but the earliest that the venue could open would be for the 2016 NFL season.

"The challenge for us there is to find a solution that works for the community and works for the team," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during a media conference at an owners' meeting in Chicago on Tuesday. "The stadium is a critical component.  We have to get a new stadium that is going to work for the long term of the team, the fans and for the community. There are some positive developments out there."

Pepsi has already started the hype to halftime with a countdown board in New York's Times Square that features a photo of Beyoncé with the words "Feb 3 2013" written on her face. Beyoncé recently joined husband Jay-Z on stage for the final of his eight concerts that opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and there has been some speculation that Jay-Z might return the favor in New Orleans.

This past July, Pepsi signed a multi-year deal to become the title sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show, beginning with Super Bowl XLVII in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Feb. 3. Pepsi, whose parent company PepsiCo is an official marketing partner of the NFL, takes over from Bridgestone, which had been title sponsor of the halftime show for the past five Super Bowls. Pepsi last hosted the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI.

Pepsi's deal also covers Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 in MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ), Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 in the University of Phoenix Stadium; and Super Bowl L in 2016.

The Bridgestone Super Bowl Halftime Show this past February attracted upward of 114 million viewers on NBC, according to the network.

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