The Bay area was eliminated as a potential site for the 2018 Super Bowl on Tuesday, extending the region's drought for playing host to the NFL's showcase game.
After falling just short in its past two attempts to serve as Super Bowl host, Tampa Bay was bidding to land the game for Raymond James Stadium in 2018. But the league announced that Miami and Dallas were also out of contention, leaving Indianapolis, Minneapolis and New Orleans vying for the next available Super Bowl.
“The Tampa Bay area has a long and rich history as a Super Bowl host and we look forward to working closely with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, as well as local leaders, to prepare for the next opportunity,'' Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford said in a statement.
Tampa Bay hasn't been selected as the host city since 2009. The Bay area also served as Super Bowl host in 1984, 1991 and 2001.
The NFL is expected to announce the host site for the 2018 game during the league's May meetings, scheduled for Atlanta.
Tampa Bay competed hard against New York/New Jersey for the 2014 Super Bowl before the game was awarded to new Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the first time America's No. 1 sports event will be played in a cold-weather, open-air facility
The Bay area lost out to Glendale, Ariz., in bidding for the 2015 game, in part because Arizona was one year ahead of Tampa in the Super Bowl rotation
In May, owners awarded the 2016 game, marking the 50th Super Bowl, to a new stadium under construction in Santa Clara, Calif. The 2017 game is heading to Houston, which hasn't served as a Super Bowl site since 2004.
A new stadium is slated to open in Minneapolis in 2016 and the league has a history of awarding Super Bowls to franchises with new facilities. The 2012 game was played at Indianapolis and New Orleans played host to the 2013 Super Bowl.
“It proves that Indianapolis is really a unique city, being a medium-sized market in a colder market, without 80 degrees and beaches,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said after the announcement came down Tuesday as NFL owners gathered in Washington, D.C.