At the NFL spring meetings in Boston this afternoon, owners voted to award Super Bowls L and LI—in 2016 and 2017—to the Bay Area and Houston. That leaves Miami as the only finalist to go home empty-handed. Should've paid for those stadium renovations, South Florida!
What's the opposite of surprise? The 49ers and Texans have long been the favorites to host the big games. They probably started printing up the merchandise as soon as the ink dried on the Levi's Stadium lease, and the Texans got final approval to spruce up Reliant Stadium with the two largest video boards in the NFL.
The Dolphins, with the backing of Roger Goodell, basically threatened Miami that they wouldn't get a Super Bowl unless the county paid to renovate Sun Life Stadium. That was shot down in the legislature, and multi-billionaire Stephen Ross declared that he wasn't about to spend any of his own money.
For the 50th edition, the league had been looking to reference its history. The Bay Area has never hosted a Super Bowl (Stanford Stadium hosted in 1985), though California did host the very first, at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Houston hosted a Super Bowl in 2004, Reliant Stadium's second year of existence. Miami's most recent Super Bowl was in 2010.
The 2014 and 2015 Super Bowls will be played in East Rutherford, N.J., and Glendale, Ariz.