Arthur Blank: Atlanta to express interest in 2028 Super Bowl

General view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium wrapped in Super Bowl LIII graphics Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Atlanta.

Credit: Paul Abell

Credit: Paul Abell

General view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium wrapped in Super Bowl LIII graphics Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Atlanta.

Atlanta will express an interest in hosting the 2028 Super Bowl, Falcons owner Arthur Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

“We definitely want to be back in the rotation,” Blank said. “The next game that is open in 2028. So, we’ll be putting our hat in the ring for that.”

Atlanta last hosted the Super Bowl in 2019 when the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The first Super Bowl played in Atlanta was between the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills on Jan. 30, 1994, at the former Georgia Dome. The Cowboys won 30-13.

The city hosted its second Super Bowl on Jan. 30, 2000, when the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans 23-16 at the Dome.

The 2000 game forever changed the perception of the city and the Buckhead community. In addition to an ice storm, which helped thwart two future bids, a deadly knife fight left a bloody trail from a Buckhead street to the inside of NFL star Ray Lewis’ limousine and suite at the Georgian Terrace.

The Dome site is a now a park next to the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The most recent Super Bowl went off without a glitch.

“I think Atlanta did a great job with the Super Bowl,” Blank said. “The fact that everything was downtown and walkable. It’s a magnificent stadium that is still rated No. 1 in the NFL for fan experience. You know, I think there are a lot of reasons that we should be considered, but we’ll see.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell lauded Atlanta in the pre-game state of the league address back in 2019.

“Atlanta has done an incredible job,” Goodell said. “I think all the preparations that need to be made have been made. Everybody has worked tirelessly to be prepared for this.

“We see no reason why this isn’t going to be a great Super Bowl.”

The economic impact of the last Super Bowl was debated to be somewhere between $200 million and $400 million, by the Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The 2022 Super Bowl will be held in Inglewood, Calif. It will move to Glendale, Ariz., in 2023. The 2024 game site is to be determined after being moved from New Orleans due to a conflict with Mardi Gras. New Orleans will host in 2025. Los Angeles is the projected host in 2026 and Dallas in 2027.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is trying to land World Cup games in 2026.

“The league, the process has changed,” Blank said. “Years ago, it was not even a healthy thing. I told (commissioner) Roger (Goodell), look at one point some years ago, let’s say four cities are competing, each one would come to wherever the team meeting was.

“They would bring their mayor, often they’d bring the governor, bring a state senator and you’ll be put in these different rooms. Then each club would be asked to come out and present to ownership why Atlanta would be the best place for the Super Bowl.”

The presenters would then have to wait until the process was finished and the owners voted.

“Three out of four were losers,” Blank said. “I said to Roger, our league, we’re not in the business of making people feel like losers. These people coming here, if it’s Atlanta or anybody else, preparing a lot of time and investment in the presentation, the people coming here, time, money and expense, they are sitting there all day. … I said that’s not in the best interests of our league. In the best interests of or cities or our franchises.”

Blank believes the new process will help Atlanta get back in the Super Bowl mix.

“The process has changed now,” Blank said. “So they ask for who has an interest and we have certainly expressed that.”

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