BOSTON — Where the Super Bowl will celebrate a half-century of existence will be decided this week by NFL owners.
They have two choices for the 50th anniversary game in 2016: the San Francisco Bay Area and South Florida.
The 49ers’ new stadium is being built and is scheduled to open for the 2014 season. With the NFL showing a penchant for bringing is championship game to new venues — Dallas and Indianapolis very recently, New Jersey next February — Santa Clara would appear to have a strong chance. Only once has the Bay Area staged a Super Bowl, in 1985 at Stanford Stadium.
Not so awesome for the Miami area was a defeat in the state Legislature earlier this month that could severely damage its hopes of being chosen as the 2016 host. Or, for that matter, for South Florida to beat Houston for the 2017 game should it lose to San Francisco for the 50th edition. Both sites will be decided Tuesday.
The Dolphins were denied public money for a stadium upgrade. Multibillionaire Dolphins owner Stephen Ross contends $350 million in stadium improvements are badly needed, but he doesn’t want to pay for them by himself. Nor does he want a scaled-down renovation of the 26-year-old facility.
Miami does have experience on its side, having hosted 10 Super Bowls, tied with New Orleans for the most. All of the South Florida title games have been successful, although the only outdoor Super Bowl played in the rain was held there in 2007 when Peyton Manning and the Colts won the championship.
A three-quarters majority of the 32 owners is required on the first ballot Tuesday. If neither city gets that, then a simple majority wins on the next ballot.
The loser in the 2016 bidding will face Houston for the 2017 Super Bowl. Houston hosted the 2004 game.
REED, CUSHING OUT FOR OTAS: In Houston, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said safety Ed Reed is doing “really well” as he recovers from hip surgery.
The nine-time Pro Bowler and former Destrehan standout signed a three-year, $15 million contract in free agency and will miss all of the Texans’ organized team activities, which began Monday.
Linebacker Brian Cushing will also miss the OTAs as he recovers from left knee surgery. Cushing says he has no restrictions on the knee, but coaches are playing it safe.
Kubiak said linebacker Brooks Reed took reps at inside linebacker, which allows draft picks Sam Montgomery of LSU and Trevardo Williams to play with the first and second teams. Monday was also the first opportunity for first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins to take the field with fellow receiver Andre Johnson.
SCHIANO REITERATES FREEMAN IS BUCS QB: In Tampa, Fla., Josh Freeman is back on the practice field, feeling good about himself and the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The fifth-year pro who’s entering the final season of his contract said Monday that he still considers the Bucs his team to guide to the playoffs, despite the club’s decision to draft another young quarterback to potentially take his place.
Just importantly, coach Greg Schiano reiterated Freeman is his starter before making another attempt to dispel what he said is a misconception about his desire to increase competition at virtually every position, including quarterback
Freeman became Tampa Bay’s first 4,000-yard passer a year ago, however his inconsistency contributed to a 7-9 finish and energized speculation about his future with the team.
GUNS, CASH STOLEN FROM RICE’S HOME: In Towson, Md., police say the Maryland home of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was burglarized over the weekend, and $2,000 and two guns were stolen.
Baltimore County police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathleen Batton said Monday that the burglary happened between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 12:50 a.m. Saturday at the home in Reisterstow.
Batton said Rice was out of town for the weekend, but a friend was staying at the home and reported the burglary to police.
Batton said the burglar apparently forced his way in through a rear window and ransacked portions of the home. Batton said surveillance video shows the burglar.
WOODSON TO VISIT TUESDAY: In Alameda, Calif., Charles Woodson will receive quite a greeting from Oakland Raiders fans when he makes a free agent visit to the team’s facilities Tuesday.
A few of his potential teammates in Oakland will give him a warm reception as well.
Woodson spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Raiders after being selected with the fourth overall pick in 1998. He signed with Green Bay following the 2005 season and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl title five years later before being released by the team in February.
Several Oakland fans began an online campaign via Facebook and Twitter asking others to gather at the Raiders facility in anticipation of Woodson’s arrival.
Off the field
JOHNSON ARRESTED: In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson was arrested for a probation violation stemming from an altercation with his now ex-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada.
Johnson was jailed Monday morning by a Broward County judge and later released after posting $1,000 bail. Another hearing is set for June 3. An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month when Johnson failed to meet his probation officer.
The six-time Pro Bowl player formerly known as Chad Ochocinco is serving a year’s probation for head-butting Lozada during an argument last August. She quickly filed for divorce. They had only been married since July 4.
Johnson was released by the Miami Dolphins after the incident. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.
Lozada is on the “Basketball Wives” show.