The Detroit Lions are committing $100 million to upgrade Ford Field, and team president Rod Wood is hoping those renovations will help the Lions land another bid to host the Super Bowl.
“I’ve expressed an interest on bidding on the next round,” Wood said Wednesday at an unveiling event at Ford Field. “I’ve also expressed (interest in) the NFL Draft, whether that’d be at Ford Field or just here in Detroit.
“I’ve put forward an expression of interest and we’ll see where that goes.”
Ford Field last hosted a Super Bowl in 2006, four years after opening in 2002. The Pontiac Silverdome was also host to Super Bowl XVI in 1982.
Wood sat through the most recent bidding process last year that awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles. He benefitted from seeing how that process worked in the cities putting forward the bids, and knows it will take a huge community effort to bring the NFL’s biggest game back to the Motor City.
“Having sat through now the bidding process and seeing how that works and the cities that put forward the bids, it’s a competitive market and there’s a lot of new stadiums that are coming online and very attractive cities that have hosted Super Bowls in the past that haven’t had one in a while,” Wood said. “So it’ll be a competitive environment, but I wouldn’t rule it out and we’ll see what happens.”
The NFL is expected to decide on its next two Super Bowl host cities in the spring of 2018.
The league has historically awarded the Super Bowl to teams that build new stadiums or undergo immense renovations. The next four Super Bowls were awarded to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles.
The Vikings opened a new stadium last year. Atlanta and LA have new stadiums set to soon open, and the Dolphins underwent $500 million in stadium renovations last year.
“We’re at the very beginnings of trying to work with some of our partners in the city to form a commission that can focus on bringing things to the city of Detroit,” Wood said.
“I think with the activity downtown, just think back to when we had the Super Bowl here 11 years ago, 12 years ago now and what’s happened in the city since then. I can’t promise that we’ll get another Super Bowl, but I certainly think the stadium is ready for it. We’d love to have another Final Four at some point, and certainly bid on other big events both football and non-football related.”
As part of the $100 million investment, the Lions are putting two new LED video boards in each end zone that will be 39.5-by-152 feet wide for a total of 6,033 square feet of display, installing a new sound system, renovating the suite and club seating and redesigning club spaces.