Confetti falls  in Mercedes-Benz Stadium after the the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/AJC
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/AJC

Leadoff: Atlanta ‘interested’ in Super Bowl return by 2027

Atlanta sports and tourism officials don’t want to wait 19 years again for the Super Bowl to return to the city. They’d prefer to wait only six to eight years this time, in fact. 

Atlanta Sports Council president Dan Corso confirmed Tuesday that a “letter of interest” has been submitted to the NFL to let the league know Atlanta would like to be considered to host the big game again in 2025, 2026 or 2027. 

Those are the next three Super Bowls for which the NFL hasn’t yet named a host city. 

The NFL hasn’t said when it will award the 2025-27 Super Bowls. The league has changed its site-selection process since Atlanta was awarded the 2019 Super Bowl in May 2016.

Back then, the NFL allowed several cities to bid for each Super Bowl, and then the winning bidder was determined in a vote of the 32 team owners. Now, the NFL selects one city with which to negotiate for each Super Bowl, and if that city agrees to the league’s terms the owners vote on whether to approve the bid.

“The owners still vote, but it comes out of a recommendation from a committee,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said a few days before Super Bowl LIII. “There’s a subcommittee (of owners) that works on these things. It’s definitely driven by (league) staff as well. 

“(NFL senior vice president of events) Peter O’Reilly, who puts on all these major events for the league -- the draft and the Super Bowl and the combine and all these major events -- (has) a big organization, and they’ll judge how well we did. They’ll report back not only to the commissioner but more important to the owners that Atlanta did great, which is what I expect. 

“I think Atlanta – not me, Atlanta – will earn its way back into the rotation. That is my hope,” Blank said. 

An advantage of the new process is that it eliminates the time and expense cities previously invested in elaborate unsuccessful bids (i.e., Atlanta’s losing bids for the 2009 and 2010 Super Bowls, which were awarded to Tampa and Miami, respectively.) The new process also gives the league  tighter control over the Super Bowl site rotation. 

The next five Super Bowls will be played in Miami (2020), Tampa (2021), Los Angeles (2022), Glendale, Ariz. (2023) and New Orleans (2024). The 2023 and 2024 Super Bowls were awarded last May, the others earlier. 

Like Atlanta, Miami is known to have submitted a letter of interest to be considered for another Super Bowl in 2025-2027. (The NFL asked interested cities to do so.) The paperwork doesn’t commit a city to bid; it’s unlikely Atlanta ultimately would pursue the 2026 Super Bowl, for example, if the city is awarded a significant role in the World Cup that year.

The Raiders’ new stadium currently under construction in Las Vegas is also expected to pursue a Super Bowl in 2025-2027.  Other candidates could include the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas; the Houston Texans’ stadium; and the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. 

Atlanta’s hosting of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 – the city’s first Super Bowl since 2000 -- drew praise from NFL officials but no official indication of how long the wait might be for the big game to return here.

“They get more and more competitive. More and more cities want to host the Super Bowl,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.  

RELATED: What next? More big sports events are bound for Atlanta, including next year’s Final Four. 

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THE HAWKS ARE WORTH ... HOW MUCH? 

The Hawks are worth $1.3 billion, a 78-percent increase over what Tony Ressler’s group paid for the franchise four years ago ($730 million). 

That’s according to Forbes’ annual estimates of NBA franchise values, released last week

The Hawks’ value increased 13 percent in the past year alone, according to the study. 

Still, the Hawks rank only 24th among the 30 NBA teams in value, well below the average of $1.9 billion. The New York Knicks are the league’s most valuable franchise at an estimated $4 billion. 

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LEADOFF LINKS 

> Georgia Tech basketball is trending down as it nears the end of Season 3 of coach Josh Pastner’s rebuild, Michael Cunningham writes. Read his column here.

> The Hawks defeated LeBron James and the Lakers on Tuesday night. Read Kelsey Russo’s report here.

If you haven’t seen the remade and renamed State Farm Arena yet, Hawks vice chairman Grant Hill joins the team’s chief operating officer, Thad Sheely, on a tour of the building in this newly posted NBA video: 

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