On Tuesday, 32 of the country's richest and most powerful people will file into a 15th-floor executive boardroom overlooking Boston Harbor. They'll lock the door behind them and take their seats in high-backed leather chairs around a large mahogany table for exactly one hour and 15 minutes.
At 10:30 a.m. PDT, the NFL team owners each will write just two words -- "San Francisco" or "South Florida" -- on a piece of paper, deciding the fate of the biggest planned sporting event in Bay Area history: the 50th Super Bowl.
"There's a lot riding on it," said Joe D'Alessandro, CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, who will team with bid chairman Daniel Lurie to make the final presentation to the owners on Tuesday. "But it's just not all on the pitch. (That) is really the final little piece of it; frankly, many of the owners might have made up their minds already."
It is widely believed, even in Miami, that many owners already have sided with the Bay Area, which would stage most events in San Francisco but play the 2016 title game in the 49ers' new Santa Clara stadium. That's because Florida's Legislature this month failed to approve a ballot measure aimed at renovating the Miami Dolphins' aging stadium, which was seen as a requirement for Miami to have a competitive bid.
Still, South Florida leaders announced late Friday that they had raised $36.5 million to aid their bid, nearly twice as much as previously thought and more than the $30 million raised in the Bay Area.
"I think we will win on our own right," said Steve Van Dorn, CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, who is traveling with the local bid committee to the owners' meeting. "I'm feeling very good about it."
Local leaders already are looking forward to entering the vaunted "Super Bowl rotation," an exclusive club once reserved mostly for such warm-weather havens as New Orleans, San Diego and Miami. But new stadiums in cities from Indianapolis to East Rutherford, N.J., have joined the rotation after winning Super Bowl hosting gigs in recent years. And the 49ers are expecting to add the $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium to the list.
The Bay Area hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since the 1985 game at the old Stanford Stadium, the longest drought of any region that has hosted a Super Bowl. Van Dorn said the region could handle a Super Bowl about once every five years.
Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, said there are no rules outlining the amount of time between Super Bowls in one city. "But," he added, "owners remember successful Super Bowls."
Culminating seven months of preparation, the Bay Area's Super Bowl delegation -- Lurie, D'Alessandro, Van Dorn, former San Francisco Giants executive Pat Gallagher and likely others -- was set to fly to Boston on Sunday and spend most of Monday practicing in their own NFL-provided "war room." On Tuesday, they will make their presentation to the owners for 15 minutes, followed by a five-minute pitch from 49ers owner Jed York. The Miami committee also will get its 20 minutes, as will Houston, which at the same meeting will compete with the losing region to host the 51st Super Bowl, in 2017.
Although the whole process will be over in less time than it takes to get to halftime of an NFL game, most of the heavy lifting has already been done.
All three regions on May 8 submitted 200-page proposals to each of the 32 owners -- South Florida and Houston on paper, the Bay Area on white iPad Minis. The written plans cover everything from hotels to transportation to financial estimates, while the final presentations will focus on the unique features each region has to offer, such as the Bay Area's partnership with Silicon Valley tech titans.
The NFL staff, while not picking sides, also will summarize its financial and analytical reviews of the bids during the meeting. And the seven-member Super Bowl Advisory Committee, which is headed by a Cincinnati Bengals executive and includes Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, will also hear the presentations on Monday.
Committee members declined comment.
Sometime from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to emerge from the closed-door meeting and announce the winners at a news conference to be televised live on NFL Network. That's when the real fun begins: The winner will have 33 months to plan for what the NFL says will be the greatest Super Bowl ever.
"It's a bigger deal," said Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president for events, who noted that while the league wants all Super Bowls to be better than the last, "Super Bowl 50 has to be above and beyond even that curve of improvement."
The Bay Area bid has been in the making since the Super Bowl Advisory Committee first confirmed the new stadium's Super Bowl eligibility in April 2010, before the project was even approved by Santa Clara voters.
After construction on the $1.2 billion field began in April 2012, the NFL owners in October selected Santa Clara and Miami as the two finalists for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016, or 18 months after the stadium is set to open. The sites of the Super Bowls in 2014 (East Rutherford, N.J., where the New York Giants and Jets play) and 2015 (Glendale, Ariz., where the Arizona Cardinals play) were chosen years ago, before construction on the 49ers stadium began.
D'Alessandro said he's cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area will make local history on Tuesday. "We've got a very attractive proposal," he said.
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at Twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.
At 9 a.m. PDT, bid committees from San Francisco, Miami and Houston will pitch the NFL's 32 owners for 15 minutes each at a Boston hotel boardroom.
The NFL staff then will summarize the plans for 15 minutes, and the owners of the 49ers, Dolphins and Texans will speak for five minutes each.
At 10:30 a.m. PDT, each of the 32 owners will complete a secret, written ballot -- first between San Francisco and Miami for the 50th Super Bowl, then between the loser and Houston for the 51st.
AFC owners will pass their votes to Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt; NFC owners will pass their votes to New York Giants owner John Mara.
Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president for events, will tabulate the votes. If a host region does not score 75 percent of the votes, the owners will vote again. That vote would require only a simple majority -- 17 votes -- to declare the winner.
At 11 a.m. PDT, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the winners at a news conference televised live on NFL Network, available live online to subscribers.
THE Super CLUB
Miami: hosted 10 Super Bowls (most recent: 2010)
New Orleans: 10 (most recent: 2013)
Los Angeles area: Seven (most recent: 1993)
Tampa, Fla.: Four (most recent: 2009)
San Diego: Three (most recent: 2003)
Arizona: Two (most recent: 2008; third slated for 2015)
Michigan: Two (most recent: 2006)
Houston: Two (most recent: 2004)
Atlanta: Two (most recent: 2000)
One Super Bowl each: New York-New Jersey (slated for 2014), Indianapolis (2012), Dallas (2011), Jacksonville, Fla. (2005), Minneapolis (1992), Bay Area (1985).