Amidst the clanging of hammers, buzzing of saws and sizzle of welding torches, 49ers CEO Jed York and other local dignitaries discussed the new Santa Clara Stadium's bid to host Super Bowl L in 2016 on Wednesday.
York was joined by Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Bay Area Super Bowl Bid Committee Chairman Daniel Lurie to address the regional effort to bring back sport's greatest spectacle to the Bay Area.
"It's a pleasure to be working with so many great people to bring the biggest sporting event in the world to Northern California," York said. "We're talking about bringing the Bowl to the Bay. It's going to be a regional effort, it's going to take a lot of hard work. But as Daniel said, we're a little bit different than some of the other folks. We have a community-minded process and we're looking at a long-lasting legacy."
The trio of Matthews, Lee and Reed have also met with fellow mayors and local politicians from throughout the Peninsula and the Bay Area region. In a sign of solidarity, all three mayors pledged to work together to bring to the region all of the benefits of a Super Bowl, citing the economic boom that would come with it.
"The Super Bowl bid is incredibly important to the whole Bay Area region," Lee said. "The strength of our bid will be reflected in the collaboration we do as a whole region. We want that Super Bowl 50 very badly. We can smell it."
As Reed noted, his city of San Jose is just a "long putt" away from the site of the new Santa Clara Stadium.
"Bringing the Super Bowl here will be a regional effort with regional benefits," Reed said. "San Jose's excited about it, we're happy to participate. We're looking forward to filling up our hotels, our restaurants, our facilities with people here to visit the Super Bowl, just as they will in San Francisco, Santa Clara and many other cities around the area."
Lurie is heading the committee which is responsible for the Bay Area's Bid for Super Bowl L in 2016. The formal vote will take place on May 21, when the new Santa Clara Stadium will vie with Miami to host the Super Bowl following the 2015 regular season. The runner-up will then compete with Houston to host Super Bowl LI in 2017.
"We're excited to show off our region, the innovation, and also the compassion that we have here in this community," Lurie said. "We are not only talking about one game, but we are talking about bringing all of our people together, shining a light on our entire region and helping our whole community embrace this."
York's vision is to showcase what makes the Bay Area one of the world's unique destinations, citing its commitment to sustainability, technology and being on the cutting edge. The 49ers CEO discussed the plans to achieve a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, touting the stadium's green roof and capability to power its 10 annual home games with strictly solar panels from its year-round collection of energy.
Hosting Super Bowl L would also mark historical significance, as Super Bowl I was held in Los Angeles in 1967. But the Super Bowl hasn't been hosted in Northern California since 1985, when the 49ers defeated the Dolphins 38-16 at Stanford Stadium.
As it looks ahead to the new era of Bay Area football, the region isn't just looking to host the Super Bowl once, but also serve as a long-term option to be a key part of the NFL's Super Bowl rotation.
"There is no greater place to have a Super Bowl than here in Silicon Valley," Matthews said. "We'll have the very best stadium and the best fan experience. We have the very best weather and we have the best people and companies to support the event. I know that anyone coming to Santa Clara will be excited, anyone coming to San Francisco will be thrilled, anyone coming to San Jose and all the cities in between will have a wonderful time here. I think between the Golden Gate and Silicon Valley, we can't be beat when we all work together."
At the moment, 1,000 workers are laboring virtually around-the-clock toward a 2014 kickoff. While construction can never go fast enough, Project Executive Jack Hill has been pleased with the progress of his crews with less than 11 months on the job.
The pre-cast concrete has already been fitted for the top and middle bowls, while the lower bowl will soon be transformed with pre-cast concrete in 4-6 weeks. In all, 95 percent of the steel has been installed for the entire stadium.
"We would never say we're ahead of schedule," Hill said. "But, suffice it to say, we've enjoyed some great weather and are excited about opening up on time."