he NFL has a 2020 vision regarding Los Angeles.
The yet-to-be-built football stadium in Inglewood is in the running to host the Super Bowl in 2020 or 2021 — and the decision will be made in May.
With Houston and Minneapolis hosting the next two Super Bowls, the NFL's Super Bowl Advisory Committee has decided to have the following three games voted on in succession in one day during the spring meetings in May. The league's 32 owners vote on awarding the game.
In doing so, the committee will make a departure from its "guiding principle" that a new stadium must have two full seasons under its belt before becoming eligible to host a Super Bowl. The Rams' stadium in Inglewood is slated to open in 2019, and it will be eligible for a Super Bowl at the end of that season.
"We began discussions with local leaders almost immediately after the vote on how to bring the Super Bowl to Los Angeles," said Kevin Demoff, Rams executive vice president of football operations. "We've continued those discussions with the NFL, and we're excited by the opportunity to bid for either 2020 or 2021.
"We recognize there are a lot of great candidates who have already bid, and we're working quickly to make sure that Los Angeles' bid can be considered and we can return the Super Bowl to Southern California and Inglewood."
A city may host only one of those three Super Bowls. Atlanta, South Florida and Tampa are also finalists to host one, while New Orleans will be under consideration only for Super Bowl LIII, at the end of the 2018 season, because of other commitments at the Superdome.
That the NFL has waived the two-year requirement for L.A. is significant. That guideline was put in place after Super Bowl IX in New Orleans, which was supposed to be played at the city's dazzling new stadium but instead took place at Tulane Stadium because construction of the Superdome hadn't been completed.
Developers of the Inglewood stadium are in the process of finalizing construction drawings on the venue, which has an estimated cost of $2.6 billion and, at 3 million square feet, will be the NFL's largest site. Those completed drawings will lead to a formal construction schedule with groundbreaking planned for late summer. The Rams said no date has been set for the official groundbreaking.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that with the return of the Rams, a bid for the 2024 Olympics and now a potential Super Bowl in the offing, L.A. has become "the center of the sports world."
Ten Super Bowls have been played in Southern California: five at the Rose Bowl, two at the Coliseum and three in San Diego. Two were played in Northern California.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to showcase Los Angeles as a host for the Super Bowl, a national event that uniquely captivates people around the world," Garcetti said in a written statement.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts sent a letter to the NFL last May saying that the city was ready to cooperate with the Rams to land a Super Bowl, should that stadium project be chosen.
"This venue, being the largest, most expensive and newest arena in the world will be situated on a sizable parcel of land, with transportation connectors in the middle of four freeways, 2 1/2 miles from the fifth-busiest airport in the country," Butts said Thursday. "We're well situated to host a really great event."
Demoff said that the Super Bowl bid process will involve assembling an L.A. committee that in two months will be able to present a proposal at the league's spring meetings in Charlotte.
Among the NFL's criteria for a Super Bowl city: at least 20,000 available hotel rooms; a state-of-the-art stadium; sufficient space for a media center and the NFL Experience, a temporary interactive football theme park; practice facilities for the two participating teams; and cooperation with city and county officials for security and transportation plans.
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter: @LATimesfarmer
Times staff writers Nathan Fenno and Peter Jamison contributed to this report.