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History of Super Bowl Sites

By Zac Richardson -- January 26, 2013 12:52 PM EST


With two weeks of hype to fill leading up to Super Bowl XLVII (have you heard-- a pair of brothers will be coaching against each other?!), we will instead focus on things from our customary venue-based standpoint. A look now at stadia that have hosted the game in the past, those slated for future matchups, and of course a check on this year's host: the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

This will be the first Super Bowl the renamed and revamped Superdome has hosted since standing up to a battering by Hurricane Katrina and serving as a safe-haven for displaced New Orleanians in 20005. But it is the seventh held at the site, and the tenth overall in the Crescent City, with three of the first nine Super Bowls played at the former Tulane Stadium. The Superdome's seven championships are the most of any current or former stadium, and New Orleans' playing host ten times ties it with Miami for the most in the neutral site/Super Bowl era (since 1967).

Miami's hosting duties, like New Orleans, has incorporated multiple sites, but far more stadium names. Five of the first 13 Super Bowls were played at the former Orange Bowl (now the site of Marlins Park), with the remaining five being played in one spot under four different titles: two at Joe Robbie Stadium, and one each under the names Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and the current Sun Life Stadium. The NFL has indicated a need for upgrades in order to return for future championships, however.

Similarly, three Super Bowls have been played in San Diego-- all three in the Chargers' current home, Qualcomm Stadium, with one played when it was known as Jack Murphy Stadium-- but the league may require a new venue if the city is to host another.

The greater Los Angeles area has seen seven Super Bowls-- two (including Super Bowl I) in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and five in Pasadena's Rose Bowl. The most recent, however, was in 1993-- two years before both the Rams and Raiders had relocated.

Other cities and regions hosting multiple Super Bowls include Tampa (two each at the former Tampa Stadium and Raymond James Stadium), Phoenix (one each in Tempe's Sun Devil Stadium and Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium, with a return trip to Glendale slated for 2015), and two in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

Houston has held hosting duties twice, separated by thirty years (the first, in 1974, played at Rice Stadium, with the 2004 edition played in a then-nearly-brand-new Reliant Stadium-- though significant scoreboard updates are already in the works to try and lure back another championship), and Detroit also waited quite some time after their inaugural Super Bowl in 1982 (at the Pontiac Silverdome) before hosting a second time, in 2006, at Ford Field.

The one-time club includes the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis (unlikely to see a return to town without a new stadium in place), EverBank Field in Jacksonville (then-named Alltel Stadium, and a largely unpopular host city), Dallas' Cowboys Stadium (a good bet for a return visit in future years-- given a stadium and team owner's over-the-top nature well-suited for the Super Bowl-- but presuming embarrassing seating snafus that resulted in lawsuits can be ironed-out in advance), and Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium (a very popular and successful site, and one also likely and rumored to be revisited).

In 2014, the Giants' and Jets' MetLife Stadium will become the New York metropolitan area's first Super Bowl, as well as the first to be played in a cold-weather city without being under a dome. This may also prove an interesting test-case for other big market, open-air, potentially intemperate locales such as Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, New England (Foxborough/Boston), Philadelphia, Seattle, Tennessee (Nashville), and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. to host future games.

The only other Super Bowl on the books was played at Stanford Stadium in 1985, which is also one of only four times a team in the game has played in its home state (with the San Francisco 49ers beating the Miami Dolphins). This is a bit misleading, however; each of these four instances has taken place in California, so the Oakland Raiders playing in Pasadena (1977) and San Diego (2003) would make for an out-of-state trip in most other locales. But San Francisco playing in Stanford does have something of a backyard feel, and certainly the Los Angeles Rams playing in the Rose Bowl fits this bill, too-- as occurred in 1980, standing as the closest the Super Bowl has come to hosting a home team.

Superstitious fan-bases could view this oddity as reason for concern or optimism; it clearly has not hurt the Dolphins' chances over time, for instance-- having appeared in five Super Bowls, with the city of Miami hosting ten-- and it would be a stretch to say that the Steelers' prospects (eight appearances) have been improved by Pittsburgh never hosting the championship. Nevertheless, if there is anything to the scheduling quirk, it gives long-suffering Browns fans something to hang onto-- as Cleveland is the only city and team to neither appear in nor host a Super Bowl.


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