Take a bow, Santa Clara. Tuesday's announcement that the 50th Super Bowl will be held at the small-but-mighty city's new, $1.2 billion Levi Stadium proves again that no one dreams bigger than Silicon Valley -- and while it couldn't have happened without Santa Clara's stadium coup, this is a big win for the entire Bay Area.
It's also a terrific example of what regional collaboration can accomplish. From San Jose to San Francisco, political, civic and business leaders pulled together to make it happen. Can an Olympics bid be far behind?
Short of the Olympics, it's hard to imagine an event bigger than the two-week Super Bowl extravaganza. And while much of the hoopla will be in San Francisco -- the team is still the San Francisco 49ers -- it's a golden opportunity for the valley to show the world what it's all about.
The Super Bowl generates $100 million to $250 million of economic benefit. It also should be flat-out fun. The opportunity to host world-class performances in world-class facilities ranks right up there with great weather and entrepreneurial spirit as reasons people and companies are attracted to this place.
The brightest spotlight will be on the stadium itself. The NFL invested $200 million in the project and loves to showcase its new stadiums. Stanford's old one flunked the venue test in the region's last Super Bowl in 1985, but we're guessing Levi Stadium will ace it.
Tickets will be scarce and pricey, but the teams will likely be practicing at Stanford, San Jose State or Cal and staying at nearby hotels, so fans will be able to ogle the NFL stars at close range. San Francisco will score a majority of the parties, but Santa Clara, San Jose and other cities in the region have lots of time to plan on how to capitalize on their proximity to the game.
And as the Mercury News' Mark Purdy points out, with companies like Apple, Google and Facebook together contributing $30 million to the bid, surely the event will include a Silicon Valley party for the ages.
There's another reason to be proud of this regional win. Philanthropist Daniel Lurie, the CEO of the poverty-fighting agency Tipping Point, chaired the bid committee and vowed to direct a quarter of the money he raised to Bay Area charities, making this the most charitable Super Bowl ever. That alone should have made this a winning proposal.
A successful 2016 Super Bowl at the state-of-the-art Levi Stadium could bring the event back to the region every five years or so. And the success of the regional collaboration to accomplish this holds should inspire cooperation toward other goals that can benefit the whole Bay Area.
We weren't kidding about the Olympics.