Los Angeles shifts to Super Bowl LVI in 2022 after construction delays

LOS ANGELES -- NFL owners, responding to inclement weather that has delayed the opening of a new stadium in Los Angeles, voted unanimously Tuesday to instead award Tampa the Super Bowl in 2021. Los Angeles will host the Super Bowl one year later, in 2022.

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 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 in February 2022.

The decision was made during Tuesday's annual one-day meeting of the league's 32 owners in Chicago, which took place five days after the Rams and Chargers announced that record rainfall in Los Angeles had pushed the new stadium's opening back a year, to the summer of 2020.

The league ultimately felt it was too risky to host a Super Bowl so close to the target date.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Kroenke was "incredibly cooperative on this" and remains focused on "creating a quality stadium for the long term for the fans in Los Angeles."

"So what we felt is the right thing, is don't put any risk to the Super Bowl, which is an incredibly complex event," Goodell told the media from Chicago. "God forbid if there's some other natural disaster, or some other thing that might affect the schedule -- which [Kroenke] does not obviously anticipate and feels comfortable with the time frame. It would put an undue risk to the Super Bowl and to our fans. So from our standpoint, we thought this was the appropriate thing to do."

NFL rules dictate that a stadium must be completed and operational for at least two full seasons prior to hosting a Super Bowl. A waiver, which must be approved by NFL owners, can negate that, but this case resulted in a compromise.

Raiders owner Mark Davis, meanwhile, said he intends to pursue the game for Las Vegas in 2023 or '24 -- the next Super Bowls to be awarded. The NFL owners on Tuesday also approved the Raiders' lease for their planned $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas.

"We got [the stadium] done in a year, so why not a Super Bowl in six years?" Raiders president Marc Badain said, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Tampa put together a competitive bid but missed the cut when the NFL awarded three new Super Bowl sites from 2019 to '21 -- to Atlanta, Miami and L.A., respectively -- last May. Goodell said "there wasn't really any serious discussion" about opening up the bid again for 2021.

"We have a short time frame here; we had a tremendous city that made an outstanding bid and was fully capable of hosting the Super Bowl," Goodell added. "We should move quickly."

Tampa approved renovations to Raymond James Stadium in 2016 that will install 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.

Tampa has previously hosted four Super Bowls (1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009), with the past two played at Raymond James Stadium.

"The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls, and we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meet the requirements for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021," Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said. "Today's announcement offers us the opportunity to showcase Tampa Bay's unique ability to come together as a host for world-class events."

The new stadium in Southern California -- 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, the centerpiece of a site that will take up nearly 300 acres. The complex 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.

But it won't open on time.

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

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.

L.A. hosted the first Super Bowl in 1967 from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which the Rams will call home for three more seasons. The Coliseum also hosted the Super Bowl in 1973, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, hosted five others -- in 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987 and 1993.

Speaking during a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Rams COO Kevin Demoff stressed that the only goal for the new venue is to "get it right."

In a statement released Tuesday, Demoff said the Rams are "supportive" of the owners' decision on the Super Bowl and added: "Over the next 90 days, we will continue to work with our partners across the Los Angeles region, including the Chargers, to deliver the elements promised in the bid that was approved last year."

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.