The San Francisco 49ers may have missed a Super Bowl title by a few yards, but it appears the team's new Santa Clara stadium is a virtual lock to host the 2016 title game.
By default. And politics.
Two stadiums -- the new $1 billion stadium in Santa Clara and the Miami Dolphins' "aging" Sun Life Stadium -- are the final contenders to host Super Bowl 50.
But the National Football League has informed the Dolphins that their venue needs significant improvements before it can be considered for the big game, and Florida lawmakers can't agree on allotting $350 million towards stadium rehabilitation.
Lawmakers ended a 60-day session Friday without approving a plan to get taxpayer support for the upgrade to Sun Life Stadium.
“Okay, members,” Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford told lawmakers at 6:57 p.m. “We’re done.”
The voters won't have the opportunity to approve a publicly-funded rehab plan during a May 14 vote, which means the Bay Area will likely win the bid.
Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said he is very excited, but added he is still being "cautiously optimistic." He would not declare his city the winner.
The NFL won't make the official announcement until May 21.
"Until the vote happens on the 21st we don't know for sure. But each step that leads up to that is very exciting," Matthews said.
The Bay Area last hosted a Super Bowl in 1985, when 84,000 people watched -- wait for it -- the San Francisco 49ers defeat the Miami Dolphins, 38-16, at Stanford Stadium.