Arizona is preparing to welcome the most popular sports event in the U.S. this weekend when Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
This is the fourth time the state is hosting the Super Bowl and the third time for Glendale, a city just 10 miles from Downtown Phoenix.
Glendale is a warm, desert city with a modern stadium and infrastructure that allows for large sports events to be held. But there are many other factors to take into consideration when choosing a Super Bowl host city.
The team at SportingPedia decided to look at the cities that have welcomed the contest the most times in history and see what they did right and what others did wrong to not be able to win the Super Bowl bid not even once.
Host City Selection Process
The selection of the host city and the venue typically happens several years before the event, and the decision is made by all NFL team owners. Prior to Super Bowl LVII, teams, and cities could bid for the rights to host Super Bowls, and their proposals were reviewed and evaluated based on criteria such as the state of the stadiums, their size, the ability of the city to host such a large event, etc.
The selection of the host cities after that has been made by the league. The NFL picks a city and asks if it wants to host the Super Bowl. If the city is confident it can take on a task of such magnitude, it prepares the bid documents and presents them to the league. The NFL team owners then vote and make the final decision. Once a city is selected, the preparation for the event starts, including stadium renovations, improving the adjacent infrastructure, gathering up thousands of volunteers (outfitting them and feeding them, as well), and working with police and law enforcement agencies to ensure security.
Interestingly, until 2014, the requirements for host cities and venues were not publicly known, but after a document was leaked, several details came to light. For instance, the venue must be in a market that hosts an NFL team and must have a minimum of 70,000 seats, as well as 35,000 parking spaces within one mile of the stadium. Also, stadiums where the average game day temperature is below 50 °F (10 °C) must have a roof – or be given a special waiver by the league.
Hosting cities are required to have a number of hotel rooms that are at least 35 percent of the stadium capacity. And these hotel rooms must be within one hour’s drive of the venue. Of course, the stadiums must have all the amenities needed for a large event. But the league also requires host cities to have enough space for the football theme park, which opens a week before Super Bowl. Additionally, there must be space for the Media Center and for various other facilities and events that occur during Super Bowl week. These include golf courses and bowling alleys.
Cities with the Most Super Bowl Games in History
A total of 15 cities and metropolitan areas have been selected to host the Super Bowl since 1967, when the first playoff final was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Green Bay Packers defeated Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 35–10, and the event was the only Super Bowl game ever to be broadcasted by two networks, namely CBS and NBC. A lot has changed since then, and several cities and venues have become iconic NFL locations, while certain Super Bowls have remained in history as extraordinary and record-breaking.
In reality, the host city has nothing to do with the quality of the game. It has a lot to do with the fan experience, however, because the event is held in the middle of the winter, for one. In 1972, Super Bowl VI at New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium was the coldest in history despite the southern location of New Orleans. The kickoff air temperature was barely above freezing at 39 °F (4 °C), which may or may not have contributed to the Dolphins’ 24-3 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. This year, the forecast is for sunny skies above Glendale and temperatures in the low 60s, the perfect conditions for athletes.
Next year, Nevada and the Las Vegas Valley will welcome the championship game for the first time. It will be played on February 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise.
In 2025, the Super Bowl returns to New Orleans for the eleventh time, and once again, it will be held at the Caesars Superdome.
Super Bowls: 11
Since 1967, Miami has been selected to host the Super Bowl eleven times, the most of any other city. With its warm weather and beautiful beaches, the city is the perfect location for a high-stakes game that is held in February. The main venue has been Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, the home field for the Miami Dolphins.
The iconic stadium has a capacity of 65,326 and has hosted six Super Bowls, as well as the 2010 Pro Bowl. Some of the games were also held at the Orange Bowl, which was demolished in 2008.
New Orleans, LA
Super Bowls: 10
Home to a vibrant cultural and live-music scene, Creole and Cajun cuisine, and the famous Mardi Gras, New Orleans is one of the most distinctive American cities. And although the New Orleans Saints have appeared only once in Super Bowl, back in 2009, when they managed to gain a victory over the favorites Indianapolis Colts, the city has hosted the game ten times.
New Orleans was even picked as the host for Super Bowl LIX, which will be played on February 9, 2025, at the Caesars Superdome. The Superdome is the venue where the event has been held the most – 7 times so far.
Los Angeles, CA
Super Bowls: 8
Greater Los Angeles has hosted Super Bowl a total of 8 times, including last year’s competition between the NFC champs Los Angeles Rams and the American Football Conference champion Cincinnati Bengals.
It was held at SoFi stadium and featured performances by Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, featuring 50 Cent and Anderson.Paak. Interestingly, The Rams are one of only two teams to have ever qualified for and won a Super Bowl at their home stadiums – the other team is Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Super Bowls: 5
Tampa, a city that sits on Tampa Bay along Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been home to the Super Bowl game a total of five times. The Cigar City, as it is also known, is a popular vacation spot for millions of Americans, attracting them with its warm weather and white sand beaches, including the famous Clearwater Beach.
In 2021, Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl in its home stadium.
Super Bowls: 3
This year, Glendale will be hosting its third Super Bowl, and the venue is State Farm Stadium, which can seat between 63,400 and 73,000 fans. The whole city is now in preparation for the big event, which is expected to have a record-high TV viewership and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in bets.
If we are to judge from the previous two games, in 2008 and then 2015, Super Bowl LVII promises to be an amazing spectacle. Along with Glendale, San Diego, Atlanta, and Houston, each has hosted 3 Super Bowls, with some of the games being much better than others.
Featured Image: Ticketmaster