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DETROIT-The new $300 million Ford Field in Downtown Detroit will host Super Bowl XL, it was announced yesterday, providing a tremendous shot in the arm to the revitalization of the city.

The NFL owners voted to give the 2004 game to Houston, the 2005 game to Jacksonville and the 2006 game to Detroit.

The Lions are currently in the process of building the new Ford Field in Downtown Detroit, next to the new Detroit Tiger’s Comerica Park. The new domed stadium, at 1.3 million sf, is set to open in 2002.

Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Roger Penske, racing team owner and prominent local official, headed up the team to win the spot for Detroit. Archer has said the new ballfields, an improved entertainment district with renovations to the Gem Theater and Orchestra Hall and a Super Bowl in Detroit will help Downtown come back alive.

“I think it’s safe to say we scored a touchdown on our opening drive today,” said Detroit Lions Vice Chairman Bill Ford Jr. The team is owned by the Ford Family.

The city had to convince the NFL officials that they had enough hotels in place or planned to handle the thousands of fans and dignitaries that would arrive with a Super Bowl. Thousands of rooms are available, and thousands more are expected if three permanent casinos are built along the Detroit River.

Some say the event could provide as much as $300 million in tourism revenue to the city.The Lions currently play at Pontiac Silverdome, and have a contract with the city until 2005. However, the team is negotiating with Pontiac to leave the city by 2002.

Pontiac was the site of Super Bowl XVI in 1982, the only time the metro-Detroit area has hosted a Super Bowl.The Detroit Metro Host Committee has promised $10 million to support the execution of Super Bowl XL.

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