The Super Bowl is going back to Miami in 2020. It will be the 11th time the big game heads to South Florida, a new Super Bowl record.
Today’s announcement comes as the Miami Dolphins finish renovations to SunLife Stadium. The 28-year year-old venue is being retrofitted with brand new seats, four high definition video screens and a state-of-the-art canopy. But the $400 million facelift comes at an inauspicious time.
Climate change is turning America’s southernmost metropolis into the poster child for sea-level rise. Miami is low, flat and densely populated. Aging flood control equipment offers little protection against rising oceans. Encroaching saltwater threatens to permeate porous limestone aquifers and contaminate freshwater.
Rising seas also threaten critical infrastructure. Tomorrow, shareholders of NextEra Energy, parent company of Florida Power & Light (FPL) will vote to decide if the company should report risks from sea-level rise. FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant sits just 25 miles south of Miami, between Biscayne and the Everglades national parks.
Public officials in Miami are taking steps to respond to threats from global warming. Today, Miami joined a 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative funded by the Rockefeller Foundation that provides cities with a “chief resilience officer” to help prepare for disasters, including coastal flooding.
Rising seas threatens to dirty freshwater, damage critical infrastructure and strain first responders. All that will make it a lot harder to host the Super Bowl.