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Houston's Super Bowl to saddle up with the rodeo: Big game's going to kickoff with cowboy extravaganza

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Reliant Stadium at night with fireworks
It's three years and counting for Houston's Super Bowl LI and the host committee is already at work. Houston Super Bowl LI/Facebook
Ric Campo Super Bowl 51
Houston Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Ric Campo is in New York to learn from Super Bowl LVXIII. Houston Super Bowl LI/Facebook
Super Bowl February 2014 MetLife Stadium
Nine members of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee will be in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium for Sunday's game. HDWallpapersCi.com
Houston Super Bowl LI 50 unofficial logo THIS.jpg
Fundraising and fleshing out the host committee are goals set by Houston Super Bowl organizers for 2017. Houston Super Bowl LI/Facebook
Ric Campo and Super Bowl bid committee May 22, 2013
Ric Campo heading the Houston Super Bowl bid committee in May, just before Houston's selection was announced. Houston Texans/Twitter
Reliant Stadium at night with fireworks
Ric Campo Super Bowl 51
Super Bowl February 2014 MetLife Stadium
Houston Super Bowl LI 50 unofficial logo THIS.jpg
Ric Campo and Super Bowl bid committee May 22, 2013

Only days before he was to join Houston Super Bowl Host Committee reps in New York for Super Bowl XLVIII, host committee chairman Ric Campo discussed plans for H-Town's latest round of Super Bowl mania coming in 2017 including an affiliation with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

"We kickoff at the rodeo in 2016 right after the Super Bowl," Campo said. "They're both huge events and create a lot of value for Houston. So there are a lot of parallels between the Super Bowl and the rodeo."

RodeoHouston was not involved when Houston hosted the Super Bowl in 2004 and certainly not back in 1974 when Super Bowl VIII was played at Rice Stadium.

In recent weeks, the host committee has been running in high gear focusing on fundraising, organizing and enlisting HLSR. "We're looking at engaging the rodeo as a real partner and jumping onto their volunteer base, which is very well organized and well focused," Campo said. With the support of RodeoHouston president and CEO Joel Cowely and COO Leroy Shafer, Campo expects to tap into the rodeo's volunteer mix of 28,500. He says Houston will need 15,000 pairs of hands on deck for the vast array of surrounding Super Bowl activities.

In the meantime, Campo and eight key members of the host committee are in New York and New Jersey this weekend studying all aspects of the sports extravaganza. Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes and Houston Super Bowl Host Committee executive director Sallie Sargent are part of the team whose mission is "to learn, to learn from the host committee."

The host committee has even tapped NASA to participate with the creation of "a cool space ride." 

"We hope to really learn about what things they are doing best and adapt our Super Bowl to make it a better event and also to see some of the things that we don't want to do," Campo said.

Campo explains that the host committee has divided the next three years into "three fourth-quarter periods. Three years sounds like a long time, but when you break it down to quarters, it flies by really fast."

Before the end of 2014, the plan is to have all monies raised from the private sector in place and the host committee fleshed out. While Campo doesn't put an exact figure on funds needed to make Super Bowl LI a success, he does say that the cost will be within the range of New York's $70 million, Phoenix's $30 to $40 million and San Francisco's $60 to $70 million. "Houston will be somewhere in between," Campo said.

Those mega dollars go to three areas: public safety, security, logistics, traffic; community engagement (the various concerts and special events); and game day experience.

In 2015, the focus will be on planning the various activities including a 10-day fan-based festival with concerts and various events. The host committee has even tapped NASA to participate with the creation of "a cool space ride." And in 2016, it's execution of all the year-long series of events and activities that lead up to game day. 

While the Houston host committee team visiting MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will have all-access passes, you won't find them hanging out in the cushy suites. "Host committees do not get suites," Campo said. "We have a few tickets in club seats but some are just regular seats in the bowl with everybody else. So it will be chilly."

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