Santa Clara could be the site of Super Bowl L in 2016. The San Francisco 49ers will play in Candlestick Park for one more season until they head south to their new location. The 49ers and Miami Dolphins are the finalists to host the championship game. The winning bidder will be chosen on May 21 by NFL team owners.
If the city of San Francisco (or technically Santa Clara), gets a chance to host the Super Bowl, it would set a new milestone for the organization. Meeting that goal would bring a huge economic boost to the team and Bay Area.
Even though the 49ers are set to play in a sparkling-new residence, Candlestick was home to some of the greatest plays in football.
Perhaps its shining moment was “The Catch” by Dwight Clark in 1982, which pushed the 49ers past the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, claiming the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.
More recently, the Red and Gold hosted the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 Divisional Round of the playoffs. That 60-minute, back-and-forth battle was a thriller from start to finish. The 14-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis in the closing seconds was even dubbed “The Catch III.”
Two months ago, Colin Kaepernick put on a classical performance in his first ever playoff game. On 16 carries, the second-year signal-caller rushed for 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers—the most ever by a quarterback in postseason history. He also accounted for four total touchdowns.
While Candlestick has had its share of unforgettable moments, change was ultimately needed. Players along with the fans always had to fight the cold, blustery conditions. Throw in the aging facilities to the intense winds, it’s easy to see why the 49ers are moving. The $1.2 billion facility is currently 35 percent complete and should be open by the summer of 2014.
From head coach Jim Harbaugh leading the next generation of 49ers to prominence, to the new stadium’s reliance on green technology, the proud franchise is ushering a new era of football to its fans.
Playing host to the country’s biggest sporting event would not be a bad start.
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