ROMULUS, Mich. - South Florida heat prevailed over a city whose last Super Bowl was an icy one. Miami was awarded the 2010 Super Bowl on Thursday, a record 10th time the city will host the title game and record 15th time it will be in Florida.
"We love our city and we love our area. We think the weather is the best. We think we have the best hotels, the best restaurants, the best beaches and the best golf courses," Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said.
Miami, Atlanta and Houston made a final pitch for the marquee event at an NFL owners meeting about 25 miles from Detroit's Ford Field, where the next Super Bowl will be played.
"I would take Atlanta and move it to the Caribbean," he joked.
An ice storm and frigid temperatures struck Atlanta in 2000, the last time the game was played at the Georgia Dome.
With New York, which had been conditionally awarded the game, out of the running, the NFL picked from three cities that lost a bid in May for the 2009 game, which went to Tampa, Fla.
The vote took three ballots, with Houston eliminated on the first. No city got the three-quarters vote needed on the second ballot and Miami won by a simple majority on the third.
"Obviously, it was very close," Blank said.
Some regarded Atlanta and Houston as favorites because Miami already had been picked for the 2007 game, but Blank said South Florida's weather won out. The 2008 Super Bowl will be played in suburban Phoenix. That means after the game in Michigan this year, there will be three Super Bowls in Florida and one in Arizona.
"If you look at the last number of votes, it's very clear the ownership feels strongly about having the game where the weather is generally warmer," Blank said.
When the NFL is not awarding a Super Bowl to a city - like Detroit - with a new stadium, Huizenga expects Miami to have a good shot at landing the game.
"I think a lot of it is weather-driven," he said. "It's a nice environment for our sponsors to take their guests. If you're a sponsor and you're doing business globally, to bring your guests to South Florida is pretty nice."
After 2010, Miami will top New Orleans' record of nine for hosting the most Super Bowl games. Three off the first five Super Bowls - in 1968, 1969 and 1971 - were in Miami and the last one there was in 1999.
"We know that the best Super Bowls in history were in South Florida," said William Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And we know the best place to hold Super Bowls is South Florida. We were somewhat of an underdog this time, but that never deters us."
Florida is in the midst of what will be a four-Super Bowl, six-year run with last season's game in Jacksonville, the 2007 game in Miami and Tampa being the title-game site two years later.
"The NFL is finally realizing that the people who go to Super Bowls like warm-weather cities because of all the activities that can take place," said Dick Anderson, who played in three Super Bowls with the Dolphins and chaired the Super Bowl host committee for Miami in 1989.
Atlanta (2000 and 1994) and Houston (2004 and 1974) has each hosted the Super Bowl twice.
The 2010 Super Bowl originally was awarded to New York on the condition that a new stadium be built. The stadium, which also was part of the city's unsuccessful Olympic bid, failed to win government approval.
Last week, the New York Jets and Giants agreed to build a new stadium in New Jersey that could be opened by 2009. Both teams - as well as the NFL and New Jersey - would like a roof, but the teams have said the $200 million additional cost is beyond them. A roof would allow the Super Bowl and college basketball's Final Four to be played at the state-run Meadowlands complex.