Former Secretary of State James Baker named Houston Super Bowl bid committee chair

James Baker (left) on Monday was named the honorary chairman of Houston's Super Bowl LI bid committee by Texans owner Bob McNair.

February 25, 2013 3:20:32 PM PST
The leader of Houston's bid to bring the Super Bowl back to the Bayou City was officially announced Monday.

As we first reported in late January, former Secretary of State James Baker was named the honorary chairman of the bid committee. He's a close friend of Texans owner Bob McNair.

"I know that Jim has a great love for this city, I know that he has great love for football, the NFL and the Texans, I know of many things that he has done here locally," McNair said at Monday's press conference. "Everyone knows who Jim Baker is and the good news is that Jim Baker loves Houston."

Baker has deep Houston roots and said he is delighted to assist his good friend, McNair.

"The NFL, I think, shows off the best of our country when it puts Houston center stage," said Baker. "I think it's fair to say that Houstonians strive to be the very best. We do indeed have the world's best football stadium, we put man on the moon, we built the world's largest and best medical center and we are the energy capital of the world. Also, for anyone who's been around here for a very long time, you know that we host the very best parties, barnone."

The Super Bowl Bid Committee is composed of 15 key community leaders representing the city of Houston, Harris County, and the business community. Camden Properties Chairman and CEO Richard "Ric" Campo will help lead the campaign with Baker.

The committee will go to Boston for the NFL Spring League Meeting over May 20-22 to try to convince owners to award Houston Super Bowl LI in February 2017.

"Our goal now is to encourage the owners, those 30 people that Bob mentioned to you, to recognize that once again, as was the case in 2004, Houston is the very best choice for their prestigious event," Baker said.

Reliant Stadium will get new HD video screen displays, part of an upgrade to make the stadium more attractive to host the Super Bowl.

Houston will compete with whatever city -- San Francisco or Miami -- doesn't land the 50th anniversary Super Bowl the year before.

The Bayou City last hosted a Super Bowl in 2004. The Texans say Houston saw an economic impact of more than $350 million as a result of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2004 as well as several urban expansion and renewal projects completed as a result of that game.

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