Super Bowl

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Super Bowl
Super Bowl logo.svg
The Super Bowl logo used since Super Bowl XLV in 2011 showcasing the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Since Super Bowl XLV, the Roman numeral of the game has been featured alongside the trophy, with the exception of Super Bowl 50, with the logo decorated in different colors for each year.
First playedJanuary 15, 1967; 55 years ago (1967-01-15)
TrophyVince Lombardi Trophy

Recent and upcoming games
2021 season
Super Bowl LVI
SoFi Stadium
(February 13, 2022)
2022 season
Super Bowl LVII
State Farm Stadium
(February 12, 2023)
2023 season
Super Bowl LVIII
Allegiant Stadium
(February 11, 2024)
Display of the rings given out to all the teams who have won the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League (NFL) to determine the league champion. It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2022, the game is played on the second Sunday in February. Prior Super Bowls were played on Sundays in early to mid-January from 1967 to 1978, late January from 1979 to 2003,[a] and the first Sunday of February from 2004 to 2021. Winning teams are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the eponymous coach who won the first two Super Bowls. Due to the NFL restricting use of its "Super Bowl" trademark, it is frequently referred to as the "big game" or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations. The day the game is played is often referred to as "Super Bowl Sunday" or simply "Super Sunday".

The game was created as part of a 1966 merger agreement between the NFL and the competing American Football League (AFL) to have their best teams compete for a championship. It was originally called the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the "Super Bowl" moniker was adopted in 1969's Super Bowl III. The first four Super Bowls from 1967 to 1970 were played before the merger, with the NFL and AFL each winning two. After the merger in 1970, the 10 AFL teams and three NFL teams formed the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the National Football Conference (NFC). All games since 1971's Super Bowl V have been played between the two best teams from each conference, with the NFC leading the AFC 27–25.

Of the NFL's current 32 teams, 20 (11 NFC, 9 AFC) have won a Super Bowl and 15 (8 AFC, 7 NFC) hold multiple titles. The AFC's New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl titles at six each; the Patriots also have the most appearances at 11. Among NFC franchises, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have the most titles with five each and the Cowboys have the most appearances with eight. The Patriots and the Denver Broncos of the AFC hold the record for the most defeats in the Super Bowl, with five each. The Baltimore Ravens of the AFC and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFC are the only franchises to be undefeated in multiple Super Bowls, having each won two. Among the 12 teams who have not won a Super Bowl, the AFC's Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, and the NFC's Detroit Lions are the only four to have not appeared in the game.

The Super Bowl is among the world's most-watched single sporting events and frequently commands the largest audience among all American broadcasts during the year. It is second only to the UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual club sporting event worldwide[1] and the seven most-watched broadcasts in American television history are Super Bowls.[2] Commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year because of the high viewership, leading to companies regularly developing their most expensive advertisements for the broadcast and commercial viewership becoming an integral part of the event. The Super Bowl is also the second-largest event for American food consumption, behind Thanksgiving dinner.[3]

Origin[edit]

For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL successfully fended off several rival leagues. In 1960, the NFL encountered its most serious competitor when the American Football League (AFL) was formed. The AFL vied with the NFL for players and fans. The original "bowl game" was the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, which was first played in 1902 as the "Tournament East–West football game" as part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and moved to the new Rose Bowl Stadium in 1923. The stadium got its name from the fact that the game played there was part of the Tournament of Roses and that it was shaped like a bowl, much like the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. The Tournament of Roses football game eventually came to be known as the Rose Bowl Game. Exploiting the Rose Bowl Game's popularity, post-season college football contests were created for Miami (the Orange Bowl), New Orleans (the Sugar Bowl), and El Paso (the Sun Bowl) in 1935, and for Dallas (the Cotton Bowl) in 1937. By the time the first Super Bowl was played, the term "bowl" for any major American football game was well established.

The Packers defeated the Chiefs in the first AFL–NFL Championship Game, Super Bowl I.

After the American Football League's inaugural season, AFL commissioner Joe Foss sent an invitation to the NFL on January 14, 1961, to schedule a "World Playoff" game between the two leagues' champions, beginning with the upcoming 1961 season.[4] The first World Playoff game would have, if actually played, matched up the Houston Oilers vs. the Green Bay Packers. It took a half-dozen more seasons for this idea to become a reality.

In the mid-1960s, Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, first used the term "Super Bowl"[5] to refer to the AFL–NFL championship game in the merger meetings. Hunt later said the name was likely in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy;[6] a vintage example of the ball is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In a July 25, 1966, letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt wrote, "I have kiddingly called it the 'Super Bowl,' which obviously can be improved upon."

The leagues' owners chose the name "AFL–NFL Championship Game",[7] but in July 1966 the Kansas City Star quoted Hunt in discussing "the Super Bowl—that's my term for the championship game between the two leagues",[8] and the media immediately began using the term.[9] Although the league stated in 1967 that "not many people like it", asking for suggestions and considering alternatives such as "Merger Bowl" and "The Game", the Associated Press reported that "Super Bowl" "grew and grew and grew—until it reached the point that there was Super Week, Super Sunday, Super Teams, Super Players, ad infinitum".[7] "Super Bowl" became official beginning with the third annual game.[10]

Roman numerals are used to identify each Super Bowl, rather than the year in which it is held, since the fifth edition, in January 1971.[11] The sole exception to this naming convention tradition occurred with Super Bowl 50, which was played on February 7, 2016, following the 2015 regular season, and the following year, the nomenclature returned to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, following the 2016 regular season.

The Jets were the first AFL team to win a Super Bowl (Super Bowl III), defeating the Colts.

After the NFL's Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with their NFL counterparts, though that perception changed when the AFL's New York Jets defeated the NFL's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. One year later, the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans, which was the final AFL–NFL World Championship Game played before the merger. Beginning with the 1970 season, the NFL realigned into two conferences; the former AFL teams plus three NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns) would constitute the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining NFL clubs would form the National Football Conference (NFC). The champions of the two conferences would play each other in the Super Bowl.

The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and three of the five preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following Lombardi's death in September 1970, the trophy was named after him. The first trophy awarded under the new name was presented to the Baltimore Colts following their win in Super Bowl V in Miami.

The coin toss was usually presented by a former football player or a special guest to recognize their community involvement or significance.

Pre-game ceremonies[edit]

The pre-game ceremonies usually go in the following order:

Date[edit]

The Super Bowl is played on the second Sunday in February.[12] The current NFL schedule begins on the weekend immediately after Labor Day (the first Monday in September). That weekend is the first of an 18-week regular season, followed by three weeks of playoff games and one week for the Pro Bowl. The Super Bowl is contested the week after the Pro Bowl. This schedule has been in effect since an 18th week (and 17th regular season game) were added to the NFL schedule for the 2021 season, with Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022, the first to be played under this format.

The Super Bowl was held in January from its inception until 2002, when the week of games following the September 11 attacks were postponed and rescheduled, extending the season by a week and causing Super Bowl XXXVI to be played on February 3. Beginning with Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, the Super Bowl was scheduled for the first Sunday in February until the schedule expansion of the 2021 season moved the game to the second Sunday.

Game history[edit]

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with a record six Super Bowl wins. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have five victories each, while the Packers and New York Giants have four. Fourteen other NFL franchises have won at least one Super Bowl.

The Patriots own the record for most Super Bowl appearances (eleven). The Cowboys, Steelers, and Denver Broncos are tied for second with eight appearances apiece, reaching that milestone in this respective order. Bill Belichick owns the record for the most Super Bowl wins (eight) and appearances (twelve: nine times as head coach, once as assistant head coach, and twice as defensive coordinator) by an individual. Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl starts (ten) and wins as a player (seven), while Charles Haley has the second-most wins among players (five).

Eight teams have appeared in Super Bowl games without a win. The Minnesota Vikings were the first team to appear four times without a win, while the Buffalo Bills played in a record four consecutive Super Bowls, losing in each. The Patriots and Broncos are tied for the most Super Bowl losses (five).

The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars are the four teams to have never appeared in a Super Bowl, although the Browns and Lions both won NFL Championships before the Super Bowl era. The Jaguars, who began play in 1995, and the Texans, who began play in 2002, are among the youngest franchises in the league.

Team Wins Losses Win Percentage Years Won
New England Patriots 6 5 55 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 2 75 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
Dallas Cowboys 5 3 63 1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1995
San Francisco 49ers 5 2 71 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994
Green Bay Packers 4 1 80 1966, 1967, 1996, 2010
New York Giants 4 1 80 1986, 1990, 2007, 2011
Denver Broncos 3 5 38 1997, 1998, 2015
Oakland/Los Angeles/Las Vegas Raiders 3 2 60 1976, 1980, 1983
Washington Redskins/Football Team/Commanders 3 2 60 1982, 1987, 1991
Miami Dolphins 2 3 40 1972, 1973
St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams 2 3 40 1999, 2021
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts 2 2 50 1970, 2006
Kansas City Chiefs 2 2 50 1969, 2019
Baltimore Ravens 2 0 100 2000, 2012
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 0 100 2002, 2020
Philadelphia Eagles 1 2 33 2017
Seattle Seahawks 1 2 33 2013
Chicago Bears 1 1 50 1985
New Orleans Saints 1 0 100 2009
New York Jets 1 0 100 1968
Buffalo Bills 0 4 0
Minnesota Vikings 0 4 0
Cincinnati Bengals 0 3 0
Atlanta Falcons 0 2 0
Carolina Panthers 0 2 0
Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans 0 1 0
San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers 0 1 0
St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals 0 1 0
Cleveland Browns 0 0
Detroit Lions 0 0
Houston Texans 0 0
Jacksonville Jaguars 0 0

1960s: Early history and Packers dominance[edit]

The Packers won the first two AFL–NFL World Championship Games, later renamed Super Bowls, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, respectively. The Packers were led by quarterback Bart Starr, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for both games. These two championships, coupled with the Packers' NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965, amount to the most successful stretch in NFL History; five championships in seven years, and the second threepeat in NFL history (1965, 1966, and 1967). The Packers are the only team to threepeat, as they also accomplished the feat in the pre-playoff era (1929, 1930 and 1931). The first playoff game in the NFL was in 1932.

In Super Bowl III, the AFL's New York Jets defeated the nineteen-point favorite Baltimore Colts of the NFL, 16–7. The Jets were led by quarterback Joe Namath, who had famously guaranteed a Jets win before the game, and former Colts head coach Weeb Ewbank, and their victory proved that the AFL was the NFL's competitive equal. This was reinforced the following year when the Chiefs defeated the NFL's Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV.

1970s: Dominant franchises[edit]

After the AFL–NFL merger was completed in 1970, three franchises—the Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Steelers—would go on to dominate the 1970s, winning a combined eight Super Bowls in the decade.

The Baltimore Colts, now a member of the AFC, would start the decade by defeating the Cowboys in Super Bowl V, a game which is notable as being the only Super Bowl to date in which a player from the losing team won the Super Bowl MVP (Cowboys' linebacker Chuck Howley). Beginning with this Super Bowl, all Super Bowls have served as the NFL's championship game.

The Steelers defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XIV to win an unprecedented four championships in six years.

The Cowboys, coming back from a loss the previous season, won Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins. However, this would be the Dolphins' final loss for over a year, as the next year, the Dolphins would go 14–0 in the regular season and eventually win all their playoff games, capped off with a 14–7 victory in Super Bowl VII, becoming the first and only team to finish an entire perfect regular and postseason. The Dolphins would repeat as league champions by winning Super Bowl VIII a year later.

In the late 1970s, the Steelers became the first NFL dynasty of the post-merger era by winning four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) in six years. They were led by head coach Chuck Noll, the play of offensive stars Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster, and their dominant "Steel Curtain" defense, led by "Mean" Joe Greene, L. C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, and Jack Lambert. Many of the team's key players were selected in the 1974 draft, in which Pittsburgh selected four future Hall of Famers, the most for any team in any sport in a single draft.[citation needed] A fifth player, Donnie Shell, was signed by Pittsburgh after going unselected in the 1974 NFL Draft; he too was later enshrined in the Hall of Fame.[13] The Steelers were the first team to win three and then four Super Bowls and appeared in six AFC Championship Games during the decade, making the playoffs in eight straight seasons. Pittsburgh still remains the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice and four Super Bowls in a six-year period.

The Steelers' 1970s dynasty was interrupted only by the Raiders' first Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XI and the Cowboys' second Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XII. Conversely, the Vikings, with their Purple People Eaters defense, were the only other team to appear in multiple Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX and XI) during the decade but failed to win each one.

1981–1996: The NFC's winning streak[edit]

In the 1980s and 1990s, the tables turned for the AFC, as the NFC dominated the Super Bowls of the new decade and most of those in the 1990s. The NFC won 16 of the 20 Super Bowls during these two decades, including 13 straight from Super Bowl XIX to Super Bowl XXXI.

The 49ers against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX

The most successful team of the 1980s was the 49ers, which featured the West Coast offense of Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh. This offense was led by three-time Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, running back Roger Craig, and Hall of Fame defensive safety/cornerback Ronnie Lott. Under their leadership, the 49ers won four Super Bowls in the decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV) and made nine playoff appearances between 1981 and 1990, including eight division championships, becoming the second dynasty of the post-merger NFL. The 1984 San Francisco 49ers were the first team to achieve an 18–1 record, doing so under Walsh. The 1989 San Francisco 49ers, under first-year head coach George Seifert, posted the most lop-sided victory in Super Bowl history, defeating the Denver Broncos by a score of 55–10 in Super Bowl XXIV.

The 1980s also produced the 1985 Chicago Bears, who posted an 18–1 record under head coach Mike Ditka; quarterback Jim McMahon; and Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Their team won Super Bowl XX in dominant fashion. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were also top teams of this period; Washington won Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. The Giants claimed Super Bowls XXI and XXV. Both teams won multiple Super Bowls with different starting quarterbacks; Washington won with Joe Theismann (XVII), Doug Williams (XXII) and Mark Rypien (XXVI), and the Giants with Phil Simms (XXI) and Jeff Hostetler (XXV). As in the 1970s, the Raiders were the only AFC team to interrupt the Super Bowl dominance of NFC teams; they won Super Bowls XV and XVIII (the latter as the Los Angeles Raiders).

Conversely, the Cincinnati Bengals (XVI and XXIII), Dolphins, (XVII and XIX), and Broncos (XXI, XXII and XXIV) made multiple Super Bowls in the 1980s without winning one.

Following several seasons with poor records in the 1980s, the Cowboys rose back to prominence in the 1990s. During this decade, the Cowboys made post-season appearances every year except for the seasons of 1990 and 1997. From 1992 to 1996, the Cowboys won their division championship each year. In this same period, the Buffalo Bills had made their mark reaching the Super Bowl for a record four consecutive years, only to lose all four. After Super Bowl championships by division rivals New York (1990) and Washington (1991), the Cowboys won three of the next four Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX) led by quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin. All three of these players went to the Hall of Fame. The Cowboys' streak was interrupted by the 49ers, who were the first team to win their league-leading fifth title overall with Super Bowl XXIX with a dominant performance featuring the Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young (who threw a Super Bowl record 6 touchdown passes), Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, and Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders; however, the Cowboys' victory in Super Bowl XXX the next year also gave them five titles overall and they did so with Sanders after he won the Super Bowl the previous year with the 49ers. The NFC's winning streak was continued by the Packers led by Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, won Super Bowl XXXI, their first championship since Super Bowl II in 1968.

The Patriots made their maiden Super Bowl appearances in XX (1985) and XXXI (1996) but lost both times. However, the turn of the century would soon bring hope and glory to the franchise.

1997–2009: AFC resurgence and the rise of the Patriots[edit]

Super Bowl XXXII saw quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis lead the Denver Broncos to an upset victory over the defending champion Packers, snapping the NFC's thirteen-year winning streak. The following year, the Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, Elway's fifth Super Bowl appearance, his second NFL championship, and his final NFL game. The back-to-back victories heralded a change in momentum in which AFC teams would win nine out of 12 Super Bowls. In the years between 1995 and 2018, five teams—the Steelers, Patriots, Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts—accounted for 22 of the 24 AFC Super Bowl appearances (including the last 16), with those same teams often meeting each other earlier in the playoffs. In contrast, the NFC saw a different representative in the Super Bowl every season from 2001 through 2010.

The Patriots playing against the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX

The New England Patriots became the dominant team throughout the early 2000s, winning the championship three out of four years early in the decade. They would become only the second team in the history of the NFL to do so (after the 1990s Dallas Cowboys). In Super Bowl XXXVI, first-year starting quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 20–17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams, who two seasons earlier won Super Bowl XXXIV. Brady would go on to win the MVP award for this game. The Patriots also won Super Bowls XXXVIII[14] and XXXIX defeating the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles respectively. This four-year stretch of Patriot dominance was interrupted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 48–21 Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders.

The Steelers and Colts continued the era of AFC dominance by winning Super Bowls XL and XLI in 2005–06 and 2006–07, respectively defeating the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears.

In the 2007 season, the Patriots became the fourth team in NFL history to have a perfect unbeaten and untied regular-season record, the second in the Super Bowl era after the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the first to finish 16–0. They easily marched through the AFC playoffs and were heavy favorites in Super Bowl XLII. However, they lost that game to Eli Manning and the New York Giants 17–14, leaving the Patriots' 2007 record at 18–1.

The following season, the Steelers logged their record sixth Super Bowl title (XLIII) in a 27–23, final-minute victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

The 2009 season saw the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV by a score of 31–17 to take home their first Championship. With this victory, the Saints joined the New York Jets as the only teams to have won in their sole Super Bowl appearance, a distinction the Ravens also enjoyed in winning Super Bowl XXXV after the 2000 season and the Buccaneers in 2002.

2010s: Patriot reign; parity in the NFC[edit]

The New England Patriots postgame speech after Super Bowl LI, February 5, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles are presented with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LII, February 4, 2018

In the AFC, this era was dominated by the Patriots, with the only four other teams to represent the conference being the Steelers, Ravens, Broncos, and Chiefs. The Patriots had tied a record with the 1970s Dallas Cowboys for most Super Bowl appearances in a decade with five appearances (2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). The Patriots also had four Super Bowl appearances in five years, and were one win away from three consecutive Super Bowl titles between 2016–2018. With eight consecutive AFC championship appearances spanning 2011–2018, the Patriots were three wins away (2012, 2013, 2015) from eight Super Bowl appearances in the 2010s decade.

The Super Bowls of the 2000s and 2010s are notable for the performances (and the pedigrees) of several of the participating quarterbacks, especially on the AFC side in repeated appearances by the same teams and players. In particular, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, or Peyton Manning appeared as the AFC team's quarterback in all but two of the Super Bowls from 2001 through 2018. Conversely, the only NFC teams to make the Super Bowl multiple times with the same quarterback in this era were the Seahawks, led by quarterback Russell Wilson, and the Giants, led by quarterback Eli Manning.

One of these teams was featured in the culmination of the 2010 season, Super Bowl XLV, which brought the Packers their fourth Super Bowl victory and record thirteenth NFL championship overall with the defeat of the Steelers in February 2011. This became Aaron Rodgers' only Super Bowl victory so far.

The following year, in Super Bowl XLVI, the Patriots made their first appearance of the decade, a position where they would become a mainstay. The Patriots, however, lost to the Eli Manning-led Giants, 21–17, who had beaten the Patriots four years before. This was the Giants' 4th Super Bowl victory.

In Super Bowl XLVII, the NFC's 49ers were defeated by the Ravens 34–31. The game had been dubbed as the 'Harbaugh Bowl' in the weeks leading up to the game, due to the fact that the coaches of the two teams, John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh, are brothers. During the 3rd quarter, the Ravens had a commanding 28–6 lead. However, there was a blackout in New Orleans, where the game was being played. The game was delayed for 34 minutes, and after play resumed, San Francisco stormed back with 17 straight points, but still lost.

Super Bowl XLVIII, played at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium in February 2014, was the first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold-weather environment. The Seahawks won their first NFL title with a 43–8 defeat of the Broncos, in a highly touted matchup that pitted Seattle's top-ranked defense against a Peyton Manning-led Denver offense that had broken the NFL's single-season scoring record.

In Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots beat the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks, by a score of 28–24. Down by 10, the Patriots mounted a late 4th quarter comeback to win the game with Tom Brady scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. In a key play in the final seconds of the game, then-rookie free agent Malcolm Butler would intercept a pass by Russell Wilson at the one-yard line, allowing the Patriots to run out the clock and end the game. Tom Brady was awarded his 3rd Super Bowl MVP, tying Joe Montana for the most Super Bowl MVP awards.

In Super Bowl 50, the first Super Bowl to be branded with Arabic numerals, the Broncos, led by the league's top-ranked defense, defeated the Panthers, who had the league's top-ranked offense, in what became the final game of quarterback Peyton Manning's career. Von Miller dominated, totaling 2.5 sacks and forcing two Cam Newton fumbles; both fumbles leading to Broncos touchdowns.

In Super Bowl LI, the first Super Bowl to end in overtime, the Atlanta Falcons led 28–3 late in the third quarter; however, they squandered the lead as the Patriots would tie the game 28–28 on back to back touchdowns and two-point conversions. The Falcons lost to the Patriots 34–28 in overtime. This 25 point deficit would be the largest comeback win for any team in a Super Bowl, breaking the previous of a 10-point deficit to come back and win. The Patriots never held the lead until the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Tom Brady was awarded his record fourth Super Bowl MVP and 5th win as a Super Bowl Champion, throwing a then-record 466 yards for 43 completions.

In Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the defending champion Patriots 41–33, ending a 57-year championship drought for the franchise. Nick Foles won the Super Bowl MVP. The Patriots totaled 613 yards in defeat, with Tom Brady breaking his previous Super Bowl record of 466 passing yards with an all-time playoff record 505 passing yards in the high scoring game; while the Eagles would gain 538 yards in victory. The Patriots' 33 points was the highest losing score in Super Bowl history. The combined total of 1,151 yards of offense for both teams broke an NFL record (for any game) that had stood for nearly seven decades. It was the Eagles' third Super Bowl appearance, and their first win in franchise history. With the Eagles' victory, the NFC East became the first division to have each team win at least one Super Bowl.

While Super Bowl LII produced the second highest-scoring Super Bowl, the following year's Super Bowl LIII became the lowest-scoring Super Bowl. The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 13–3. Tom Brady would receive a record sixth Super Bowl championship, the most of any player in NFL history, surpassing his tie with Charles Haley for five wins. Brady would also become the oldest player to ever win a Super Bowl at age 41, while Bill Belichick would be the oldest coach to ever win a Super Bowl at age 66. Wide receiver Julian Edelman was named Super Bowl MVP.

In Super Bowl LIV, the Chiefs defeated the 49ers in a comeback, 31–20, for their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. This victory marked the first time since 1991 that the NFC did not have more Super Bowl victories than the AFC. Notable was the absence of the Patriots, who after making it to the Super Bowl the last three years and winning two of them, had lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, being bested by the Tennessee Titans 20–13.

2020s[edit]

In Super Bowl LV, which took place in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31–9.[15] No player on the Buccaneers who scored points (Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette and Ryan Succop) was on the Buccaneers' roster the previous season. This marked a record seventh Super Bowl victory for Tom Brady, also more than any individual NFL franchise, and who would also break his own record for the oldest quarterback to win a championship at 43 years old. Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians would also break Bill Belichick's record for oldest head coach to win a championship at 68. Super Bowl LV also marked the first time in the history of the modern league that a host city's professional football franchise got to play in a Super Bowl that was hosted in their home stadium.

In Super Bowl LVI, which took place in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23–20.[16] This marked the second time a team won in their home stadium.

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Television coverage and ratings[edit]

The Super Bowl XXXV broadcasting compound, full of satellite trucks

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched annual sporting events in the world, with viewership overwhelmingly domestic.[17] The only other annual event that gathers more viewers is the UEFA Champions League final.[17] For many years, the Super Bowl has possessed a large US and global television viewership, and it is often the most-watched United States originating television program of the year.[18] The game tends to have a high Nielsen television rating, which is usually around a 40 rating and 60 shares. This means that, on average, more than 100 million people from the United States alone are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment.

In press releases preceding the game, the NFL has claimed that the upcoming Super Bowl will have a potential worldwide audience of around one billion people in over 200 countries.[19] However, this figure refers to the number of people able to watch the game, not the number of people who will actually be watching. Regardless, the statements have been frequently misinterpreted in the media as referring to the latter figure, leading to a misperception about the game's actual global audience.[20][21] The New York-based media research firm Initiative measured the global audience for the Super Bowl XXXIX at 93 million people, with 98 percent of that figure being viewers in North America, which meant roughly two million people outside North America watched the Super Bowl that year.[20]

Super Bowl XLIX holds the record for average number of US viewers, with 114.4 million, making the game the most-viewed television broadcast of any kind in American history.[18][22] The halftime show set a record with 118.5 million viewers tuning in.[23] Super Bowl XLIX peaked at 120.8 million viewers.[23] The game set a record for total viewers for the fifth time in six years.[citation needed]

The highest-rated game according to Nielsen was Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was watched in 49.1% of households (73 shares), or 40,020,000 households at the time. Ratings for that game, a San Francisco victory over Cincinnati, may have been aided by a large blizzard that had affected much of the northeastern United States on game day, leaving residents to stay at home more than usual.[citation needed] Super Bowl XVI still ranks fourth on Nielsen's list of top-rated programs of all time, with three other Super Bowls (XVII, XX, and XLIX) in the top ten.

Famous Super Bowl commercials include the 1984 introduction of Apple's Macintosh computer, the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign, and the dot-com ads aired during Super Bowl XXXIV. As the television ratings of the Super Bowl have steadily increased over the years, commercial prices have also increased, with advertisers paying as much as $7 million for a thirty-second spot during Super Bowl LVI in 2022.[24] A segment of the audience tunes into the Super Bowl solely to view commercials.[25] In 2010, Nielsen reported that 51 percent of Super Bowl viewers tune in for the commercials.[26]

Since 1991, the Super Bowl has begun between 6:19 and 6:40 PM EST so that most of the game is played during the primetime hours on the East Coast.[27]

US television rights[edit]

Throughout most of its history, the Super Bowl has been rotated annually between the same American television networks that broadcast the NFL's regular season and postseason games.

Super Bowl I, played in 1967, is the only Super Bowl to have been broadcast in the United States by two networks simultaneously. At the time, NBC held the rights to nationally televise AFL games while CBS had the rights to broadcast NFL games. Both networks were allowed to cover the game, and each network used its own announcers, but NBC was only allowed to use the CBS feed instead of producing its own.[28][29]

Beginning with Super Bowl II, NBC televised the game in even years and CBS in odd years. This annual rotation between the two networks continued through the 1970 AFL–NFL merger when NBC was given the rights to televise AFC games and CBS winning the rights to broadcast NFC games. Although ABC began broadcasting Monday Night Football in 1970, it was not added to the Super Bowl rotation until Super Bowl XIX, played in 1985. ABC, CBS and NBC then continued to rotate the Super Bowl until 1994, when Fox replaced CBS as the NFC broadcaster. CBS then took NBC's place in the rotation after the former replaced the later as the AFC broadcaster in 1998. As a result of new contracts signed in 2006, with NBC taking over Sunday Night Football from ESPN, and Monday Night Football moving from ABC to ESPN, NBC took ABC's place in the Super Bowl rotation. The rotation between CBS, Fox, and NBC will continue until the new contracts that will take effect for the first time with Super Bowl LVIII, allowing ABC to return and starting a four-network rotation.[30]

The NFL has broken the traditional broadcasting rotation if it can be used to bolster other major sporting events a network airs afterwards.[31][32][33] For example, CBS was given Super Bowl XXVI (1992) after it won the rights to air the 1992 Winter Olympics, with NBC subsequently airing Super Bowl XXVII (1993) and Super Bowl XXVIII (1994) in consecutive years. Likewise, NBC aired Super Bowl LVI (2022) instead of CBS during the 2022 Winter Olympics, which were also aired by NBC.[33] CBS received Super Bowl LV (2021) in return.[33] Under the four-network rotation that will take effect beginning in 2024, the league will award NBC the Super Bowl during Winter Olympic years.[30]

The first six Super Bowls were blacked out in the television markets of the host cities, due to league restrictions then in place. Super Bowl VII (1973) was telecast in Los Angeles on an experimental basis after all tickets were sold ten days before the game.[34]

Game analyst John Madden is the only person to broadcast a Super Bowl for each of the four networks that have televised the game (five with CBS, three with Fox, two with ABC, and one with NBC).

Network Number broadcast Years broadcast Future scheduled telecasts[*]
ABC 7 (9[ˇ]) 1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2006 2027, 2031[ˇ]
Fox 9 (13[ˇ]) 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020 2023, 2025, 2029, 2033[ˇ]
NBC 20 (23[ˇ]) 1967,[**] 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2022 2026, 2030, 2034[ˇ]
CBS 21 (24[ˇ]) 1967,[**] 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 2024, 2028, 2032[ˇ]

Note: Years listed are the year the game was actually played (will be played[ˇ]) rather than what NFL season it is considered to have been.
^ *: The current TV contract with the networks expires after the 2022 season (or Super Bowl LVII in early 2023). Under the deal, the Super Bowl is currently rotated annually between CBS, Fox, and NBC in that order. ABC will return to the rotation in the upcoming contract, which is scheduled to take effect at the start of the 2023 season.[30]
^ **: The first Super Bowl was simultaneously broadcast by CBS and NBC, with each network using the same video feed (from CBS), but providing its own commentary.

Lead-out programming[edit]

The Super Bowl provides an extremely strong lead-in to programming following it on the same channel, the effects of which can last for several hours. For instance, in discussing the ratings of a local TV station, Buffalo television critic Alan Pergament noted that following Super Bowl XLVII, which aired on CBS: "A paid program that ran on CBS 4 (WIVB-TV) at 2:30 in the morning had a 1.3 rating. That's higher than some CW prime time shows get on WNLO-TV, Channel 4's sister station."[35]

Because of this strong coattail effect, the network that airs the Super Bowl typically takes advantage of the large audience to air an episode of a hit series or to premiere the pilot of a promising new one in the lead-out slot, which immediately follows the Super Bowl and post-game coverage.

Entertainment[edit]

Initially, it was sort of a novelty and so it didn't quite feel right. But it was just like, this is the year ... Bands of our generation, you can sort of be seen on a stage like this or, like, not seen. There's not a lot of middle places. It is a tremendous venue.

— Bruce Springsteen on why he turned down several invitations to perform at the Super Bowl before finally agreeing to appear in Super Bowl XLIII[36]
Jennifer Hudson sings the national anthem at Super Bowl XLIII
Closing the opening ceremony of the Super Bowl 50

Early Super Bowls featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands from local colleges or high schools; but as the popularity of the game increased, a trend where popular singers and musicians performed during its pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show, or simply sang the national anthem of the United States or "America the Beautiful" emerged.[37] Unlike regular season or playoff games, thirty minutes are allocated for the Super Bowl halftime. After a special live episode of the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color caused a drop in viewership for the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show, the NFL sought to increase the Super Bowl's audience by hiring A-list talent to perform. They approached Michael Jackson, whose performance the following year drew higher figures than the game itself.[38][39] Another notable performance came during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, when U2 performed; during their third song, "Where the Streets Have No Name", the band played under a large projection screen which scrolled through names of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

For many years, Whitney Houston's performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, during the Gulf War, had long been regarded as one of the best renditions of the anthem in history.[40][41][42] Before Super Bowl XLVIII, soprano Renee Fleming became the first opera singer to perform the anthem.

The halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII attracted controversy, following an incident in which Justin Timberlake removed a piece of Janet Jackson's top, briefly exposing one of her breasts before the broadcast quickly cut away from the shot. The incident led to fines being issued by the FCC (and a larger crackdown over "indecent" content broadcast on television), and MTV (then a sister to the game's broadcaster that year, CBS, under Viacom) being banned by the NFL from producing the Super Bowl halftime show in the future. In an effort to prevent a repeat of the incident, the NFL held a moratorium on Super Bowl halftime shows featuring pop performers, and instead invited a single, headlining veteran act, such as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen. This practice ended at Super Bowl XLV, which returned to using current pop acts such as The Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga.[43][44]

Excluding Super Bowl XXXIX, the famous "I'm going to Disney World!" advertising campaign took place in every Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXI, when quarterback Phil Simms from the Giants became the first player to say the tagline.

Venues[edit]

The Caesars Superdome has hosted seven Super Bowls, more than any other stadium.
Hard Rock Stadium has hosted six out of the record eleven Super Bowls played in the Miami metropolitan area.

As of Super Bowl LVI, 29 of 56 Super Bowls have been played in three metropolitan areas: the Greater Miami area (eleven times),[45] New Orleans (ten times), and the Greater Los Angeles area (eight times). No market or region without an active NFL franchise has ever hosted a Super Bowl, and the presence of an NFL team in a market or region is now a de jure requirement for bidding on the game.[46][47] For instance while Los Angeles had been a seven-time host city with its most recent being Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, it did not host one from the departure of both its NFL teams in 1995 until the Rams and the Chargers subsequently came back to Los Angeles in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The Louisiana Superdome has hosted seven Super Bowls, the most of any venue, with an eighth Super Bowl scheduled to take place in the 2024–25 season. The Orange Bowl was the only AFL stadium to host a Super Bowl and the only stadium to host consecutive Super Bowls, hosting Super Bowls II and III.

Seven Super Bowls have been held in a stadium other than the one the NFL team in that city was using at the time, a situation that has not arisen after Super Bowl XXVII's host stadium was selected on March 19, 1991. This was as the winning market was previously not required to host the Super Bowl in the same stadium that its NFL team used, if the stadium in which the Super Bowl was held was perceived to be a better stadium for a large high-profile event than the existing NFL home stadium in the same city; for example, Los Angeles's last five Super Bowls were all played at the Rose Bowl, which has never been used by any NFL franchise outside of the Super Bowl. Besides the Rose Bowl, the only other Super Bowl venues that were not the home stadium to NFL teams at the time were Rice Stadium (the Houston Oilers had played in Rice Stadium previously but moved to the Astrodome several years before Super Bowl VIII) and Stanford Stadium. Starting with the selection of the Super Bowl XXVIII venue on May 23, 1990, the league has given preference in awarding the Super Bowl to brand new or recently renovated NFL stadiums, alongside a trend of teams demanding public money or relocating to play in new stadiums.

To date only two teams have qualified for a Super Bowl at their home stadiums: the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won Super Bowl LV hosted at Raymond James Stadium (selected on May 23, 2017), and the 2021 Los Angeles Rams the following season, who won Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Before that, the closest any team had come to accomplishing this feat were the 2017 Minnesota Vikings, who reached the NFC Championship Game but lost to the Eagles. In that instance, U.S. Bank Stadium became the first Super Bowl host stadium (selected on May 20, 2014) to also host a Divisional Playoff Game in the same season (which the Vikings won); all previous times that the Super Bowl host stadium hosted another playoff game in the same postseason were all Wild Card games. Two teams have played the Super Bowl in their home market but at a different venue than their home stadium: the Los Angeles Rams, who lost Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl instead of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; and the 49ers, who won Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium instead of Candlestick Park, during a time when the league often picked a stadium that was not home to an NFL team to host the Super Bowl (see above).

Traditionally, the NFL does not award Super Bowls to stadiums that are located in climates with an expected average daily temperature less than 50 °F (10 °C) on game day unless the field can be completely covered by a fixed or retractable roof.[48] Six Super Bowls have been played in northern cities: two in the Detroit area—Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, and Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit; two in Minneapolis—Super Bowl XXVI at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and Super Bowl LII at the U.S. Bank Stadium; one in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl XLVI; and one in the New York area—Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Only MetLife Stadium did not have a roof (be it fixed or retractable) but it was still picked as the host stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII in an apparent waiver of the warm-climate rule, with a contingency plan to reschedule the game in the event of heavy snowfall.[49] MetLife Stadium's selection over Sun Life Stadium generated controversy as the league requested a roof to be added to Sun Life Stadium (in the event of rainstorms) in order to be considered for future Super Bowls.[50]

There have been a few instances where the league has rescinded the Super Bowl from cities. Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 was originally awarded to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, but after Arizona voters elected not to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid state employees' holiday in 1990, the NFL moved the game to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.[51] When voters in Arizona opted to create such a legal holiday in 1992, Super Bowl XXX in 1996 was awarded to Tempe. Super Bowl XXXIII was awarded first to Candlestick Park in San Francisco, but when plans to renovate the stadium fell through, the game was moved to Pro Player Stadium in greater Miami. Super Bowl XXXVII was awarded to a new stadium not yet built in San Francisco, when that stadium failed to be built, the game was moved to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Super Bowl XLIV, slated for February 7, 2010, was withdrawn from New York City's proposed West Side Stadium, because the city, state, and proposed tenants (New York Jets) could not agree on funding. Super Bowl XLIV was then eventually awarded to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 was originally given to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, but after two sales taxes failed to pass at the ballot box (a renovation proposal had passed successfully, but a second ballot question to add a rolling roof structure to be shared with Kaufmann Stadium critical for the game to be hosted was rejected), and opposition by local business leaders and politicians increased, Kansas City eventually withdrew its request to host the game.[52] Super Bowl XLIX was then eventually awarded to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Selection process[edit]

The location of the Super Bowl is chosen at a meeting of all NFL team owners, usually three to five years before the event. The game has never been played in a metropolitan area that lacked an NFL franchise at the time the game was played, although in 2007 NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that a Super Bowl might be played in London, perhaps at Wembley Stadium.[53]

Through Super Bowl LVI, teams were allowed to bid for the rights to host Super Bowls, where cities submitted proposals to host a Super Bowl and were evaluated in terms of stadium renovation and their ability to host, but this competition was rescinded in 2018.[needs update][48][54] The league has made all decisions regarding hosting sites from Super Bowl LVII onward; the league chose a potential venue unilaterally, the chosen team put together a hosting proposal, and the league voted upon it to determine if it is acceptable.[55]

In 2014, a document listing the specific requirements of Super Bowl hosts was leaked, giving a clear list of what was required for a Super Bowl host.[56] Some of the host requirements include:

  • The host stadium must be in a market that hosts an NFL team and must have a minimum of 70,000 seats, with the media and electrical amenities necessary to produce the Super Bowl. Stadiums may include temporary seating for Super Bowls, but seating must be approved by the league. Stadiums where the average game day temperature is below 50 °F (10 °C) must either have a roof or a waiver given by the league. There must be a minimum of 35,000 parking spaces within one mile of the stadium.
  • The host stadium must have space for the Gameday Experience, a large pregame entertainment area, within walking distance of the stadium.
  • The host city must have space for the NFL Experience, the interactive football theme park which is operated the week before the Super Bowl. An indoor venue for the event must have a minimum of 850,000 square feet (79,000 m2), and an outdoor venue must have a minimum of 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2). Additionally, there must be space nearby for the Media Center, and space for all other events involved in the Super Bowl week, including golf courses and bowling alleys.
  • The necessary infrastructure must be in place around the stadium and other Super Bowl facilities, including parking, security, electrical needs, media needs, communication needs, and transportation needs.
  • There must be a minimum number of hotel spaces within one hour's drive of the stadium equaling 35% of the stadium's capacity, along with hotels for the teams, officials, media, and other dignitaries. (For Super Bowl XXXIX, the city of Jacksonville docked several luxury cruise liners at their port to act as temporary hotel space.[57])
  • There must be practice space of equal and comparable quality for both teams within a twenty-minute drive of the team hotels, and rehearsal space for all events within a reasonable distance to the stadium. The practice facilities must have one grass field and at least one field of the same surface as the host stadium.
  • The stadium must have a minimum of 70,000 fixed seats, including club and fixed suite seating, during regular season operations.

Much of the cost of a Super Bowl is to be assumed by the host community, although some costs are enumerated within the requirements to be assumed by the NFL. New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, invested more than $1 billion in infrastructure improvements in the years leading up to the game.[58]

The NFL finds backup stadiums for the Super Bowl every year, in the event of a last-minute relocation of the game.[59]

Home team designation[edit]

The designated "home team" alternates between the NFC team in odd-numbered games and the AFC team in even-numbered games.[60][61] This alternation was initiated with the first Super Bowl, when the Packers were the designated home team. Regardless of being the home or away team of record, each team has their team logo and wordmark painted in one of the end zones. Designated away teams have won 31 of 56 Super Bowls to date (approximately 55%).

Washington is one of six home teams that chose to wear the white jersey, shown here in Super Bowl XVII.

Since Super Bowl XIII in 1979, the home team is given the choice of wearing their colored or white jerseys. Originally, the designated home team had to wear their colored jerseys, which resulted in the Cowboys donning their less exposed[discuss] dark blue jerseys for Super Bowl V. While most of the home teams in the Super Bowl have chosen to wear their colored jerseys, there have been seven exceptions: the Cowboys during Super Bowls XIII and XXVII, the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XVII, the Steelers during Super Bowl XL, the Broncos during Super Bowl 50, the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The Cowboys, since 1964, have worn white jerseys at home. The Washington Redskins wore white at home under coach Joe Gibbs starting in 1981 through 1992, continued by Richie Petitbon and Norv Turner through 2000, then again when Gibbs returned from 2004 through 2007. Meanwhile, the Steelers, who have always worn their black jerseys at home since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, opted for the white jerseys after winning three consecutive playoff games on the road, wearing white. The Steelers' decision was compared with the Patriots in Super Bowl XX; the Patriots had worn white jerseys at home during the 1985 season, but after winning road playoff games against the Jets and Dolphins wearing red jerseys, New England opted to switch to scarlet for the Super Bowl as the designated home team. For the Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Denver general manager John Elway simply stated, "We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms"; they previously had been 0–4 in Super Bowls when wearing their orange jerseys.[62][63] The Broncos' decision is also perceived to be made out of superstition, losing all Super Bowl games with the orange jerseys in terrible fashion. It is unclear why the Patriots chose to wear their white jerseys for Super Bowl LII. During the pairing of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, New England has mostly worn their blue jerseys for home games, but have worn white for a home game in the 2008, 2010, and 2011 seasons.[64] The Patriots were 3–0 in their white uniforms in Super Bowls before Super Bowl LII with Belichick and Brady,[65][66] and they may have been going on recent trends of teams who wear white for the Super Bowl game.[67][68][69] For Super Bowl LV, when the Buccaneers became the first team to reach the Super Bowl that their own stadium hosted, the Bucs coincidentally were designated the home team as per AFC-NFC rotation and elected to wear their white jerseys, having previously won both their divisional and championship post-season games on the road in white jerseys.[70] White-shirted teams have won 36 of 56 Super Bowls to date (64%). The only teams to win in their dark-colored uniform in more recent years are the Packers against the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the Eagles against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Chiefs against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, with teams in white winning 12 of the last 13 Super Bowls.[71]

The 49ers, as part of the league's 75th Anniversary celebration, used their 1955 throwback uniform in Super Bowl XXIX, which for that year was their regular home jersey. The Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII wore their royal blue and yellow uniforms, which was a throwback uniform but then turned into their primary colors over the navy blue and metallic gold uniform, which they have previously worn for six home games including a home playoff game.[72] No team has yet worn a third jersey or Color Rush uniform for the Super Bowl. The 49ers reportedly requested to wear an all-white third jersey ensemble for Super Bowl LIV, which the San Francisco Chronicle noted they could do with special permission from the league; the league never granted such permission, and the 49ers instead opted for their standard uniform of white jerseys with gold pants.[73]

Host cities/regions[edit]

Super Bowl is located in the United States
Miami Metro Area
Miami Metro Area
New Orleans
New Orleans
L.A. Metro Area
L.A. Metro Area
Tampa
Tampa
San Diego
San Diego
Houston
Houston
Detroit Metro
Detroit Metro
Atlanta
Atlanta
Phoenix Metro Area
Phoenix Metro Area
Minneapolis
Minneapolis
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
S.F. Bay Area
S.F. Bay Area
Dallas‑Fort Worth
Dallas‑Fort Worth
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
N.Y. Metro Area
N.Y. Metro Area
Las Vegas Valley
Las Vegas Valley
Super Bowl host cities/regions

Fifteen different regions have hosted Super Bowls.

City/Region No. hosted Years hosted
Miami metropolitan area 11 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2020
New Orleans 10 (11)[ˇ] 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, 2013, 2025[ˇ]
Greater Los Angeles 8 1967, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993, 2022
Tampa 5 1984, 1991, 2001, 2009, 2021
Phoenix metropolitan area 3 (4)[ˇ] 1996, 2008, 2015, 2023[ˇ]
San Diego 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Houston 3 1974, 2004, 2017
Atlanta 3 1994, 2000, 2019
Metro Detroit 2 1982, 2006
San Francisco Bay Area 2 1985, 2016
Minneapolis 2 1992, 2018
Jacksonville 1 2005
Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex 1 2011
Indianapolis 1 2012
New York metropolitan area 1 2014
Las Vegas Valley (1)[ˇ] 2024[ˇ]

Note: Years listed are the year the game was actually played (or will be played[ˇ]; future games are denoted through italics) rather than what NFL season it is considered to have been.

Host stadiums[edit]

A total of 27 different stadiums, seven of which have been since demolished, either have hosted or are scheduled to host Super Bowls.

The years listed in the table below are the years the game was actually played (will be played[ˇ]) rather than the NFL season it concluded.

Stadium Location No. hosted Years hosted
Caesars Superdome, formerly Louisiana Superdome and Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana 7 (8[ˇ]) 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, 2013, 2025[ˇ]
Hard Rock Stadium, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens, Florida[‡] 6 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2020
Orange Bowl[^] Miami, Florida 5 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979
Rose Bowl Pasadena, California 5 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993
Tulane Stadium[^] New Orleans, Louisiana 3 1970, 1972, 1975
San Diego Stadium, formerly Qualcomm Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium[^] San Diego, California 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Florida 3 2001, 2009, 2021
State Farm Stadium, formerly University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Arizona 2 (3[ˇ]) 2008, 2015, 2023[ˇ]
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, California 2 1967, 1973
Tampa Stadium[^] Tampa, Florida 2 1984, 1991
Georgia Dome[^] Atlanta, Georgia 2 1994, 2000
NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas 2 2004, 2017
Rice Stadium Houston, Texas 1 1974
Pontiac Silverdome[^] Pontiac, Michigan 1 1982
Stanford Stadium[††] Stanford, California 1 1985
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome[^] Minneapolis, Minnesota 1 1992
Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Arizona 1 1996
Alltel Stadium, Now TIAA Bank Field, formerly Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and EverBank Field Jacksonville, Florida 1 2005
Ford Field Detroit, Michigan 1 2006
AT&T Stadium Arlington, Texas 1 2011
Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Indiana 1 2012
MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 1 2014
Levi's Stadium Santa Clara, California 1 2016
U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minnesota 1 2018
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, Georgia 1 2019
SoFi Stadium Inglewood, California 1 2022
Allegiant Stadium Paradise, Nevada 1[ˇ] 2024[ˇ]

^ ^: Stadium has since been demolished.
^ ‡: Miami Gardens became a city in 2003: prior to this, the stadium had a Miami address in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
^ ††: The original Stanford Stadium, which hosted Super Bowl XIX, was demolished and a new stadium constructed on the site in 2006.
^ ˇ: Future Super Bowls, also denoted by italics.

Future venues:

Year
[74]
Venue Location
2023 State Farm Stadium Glendale, Arizona
2024 Allegiant Stadium Paradise, Nevada
2025 Caesars Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana

The Super Bowl has not yet been played in any region that lacked an NFL or AFL franchise at the time the game was played.[75]

San Diego is the only metropolitan area as of 2021 that has hosted past Super Bowls, but does not currently have an NFL franchise: San Diego Stadium hosted three Super Bowls before their NFL franchise relocated to Los Angeles. Also, London, England, has occasionally been mentioned as a host city for a Super Bowl in the near future.[76] Wembley Stadium has hosted several NFL games as part of the NFL International Series and is specifically designed for large, individual events, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has openly discussed the possibility on different occasions.[77][78][79][80]

Time zone complications are a significant obstacle to a Super Bowl in London; a typical 6:30 p.m. EST start would result in the game beginning at 11:30 p.m. local time in London: this in an unusually late hour to be holding spectator sports, while the NFL has never in its history started a game later than 9:15 p.m. local time.[80]

Although bids have been submitted for all Super Bowls through Super Bowl LIX, the soonest that any stadium outside the NFL's footprint could serve as host would be Super Bowl LX in 2026.[81]

Eight stadiums that hosted at least one Super Bowl no longer exist:

  • Tulane Stadium, on the Tulane University campus, which hosted three Super Bowls, was demolished in November 1979.
  • Tampa Stadium, which hosted two Super Bowls, was demolished in April 1999.
  • Stanford Stadium, which hosted one Super Bowl, was demolished and redeveloped in 2005–06.
  • The Orange Bowl, which hosted five Super Bowls, was demolished in May 2008.
  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, which hosted one Super Bowl, was demolished in March 2014.
  • The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, which hosted two Super Bowls, was demolished in November 2017.
  • The Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit, which hosted one Super Bowl, was demolished in March 2018.
  • San Diego Stadium, which hosted three Super Bowls, closed in March 2020 and was demolished in early 2021.

Super Bowl trademark[edit]

The NFL very actively seeks to prevent what it calls unauthorized commercial use of its trademarked terms "NFL", "Super Bowl", and "Super Bowl Sunday".[82] As a result, many events and promotions tied to the game, but not sanctioned by the NFL, are asked to refer to it with euphemisms such as "The Big Game", or other generic descriptions.[83][84] A radio spot for Planters nuts parodied this, by saying "it would be super ... to have a bowl ... of Planters nuts while watching the big game!" and comedian Stephen Colbert began referring to the game in 2014 as the "Superb Owl". In 2015, the NFL filed opposition with the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to a trademark application submitted by an Arizona-based nonprofit for "Superb Owl".[85] The NFL claims that the use of the phrase "Super Bowl" implies an NFL affiliation, and on this basis the league asserts broad rights to restrict how the game may be shown publicly; for example, the league says Super Bowl showings are prohibited in churches or at other events that "promote a message", while venues that do not regularly show sporting events cannot show the Super Bowl on any television screen larger than 55 inches.[86] Some critics say the NFL is exaggerating its ownership rights by stating that "any use is prohibited", as this contradicts the broad doctrine of fair use in the United States.[86] Legislation was proposed by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in 2008 "to provide an exemption from exclusive rights in copyright for certain nonprofit organizations to display live football games", and "for other purposes".[87]

In 2004, the NFL started issuing cease-and-desist letters to casinos in Las Vegas that were hosting Super Bowl parties. "Super Bowl" is a registered trademark, owned by the NFL, and any other business using that name for profit-making ventures is in violation of federal law, according to the letters. In reaction to the letters, many Vegas resorts, rather than discontinue the popular and lucrative parties, started referring to them as "Big Game Parties".[88][89][90]

In 2006, the NFL made an attempt to trademark "The Big Game" as well; however, it withdrew the application in 2007 due to growing commercial and public relations opposition to the move, mostly from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and their fans, as the Stanford Cardinal football and California Golden Bears football teams compete in the Big Game, which has been played since 1892 (28 years before the formation of the NFL and 75 years before Super Bowl I).[91] Additionally, the Mega Millions lottery game was known as The Big Game (then The Big Game Mega Millions) from 1996 to 2002.[92]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ With the exception of 2002's Super Bowl XXXVI, which was moved to the first Sunday of February following the September 11 attacks.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, Nick (January 31, 2010). "Elite clubs on Uefa gravy train as Super Bowl knocked off perch". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Mark Koba (January 28, 2014). "Super Bowl TV ratings: Fast facts at a glance". CNBC. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Karlsons, Donna (January 30, 2014). "First Down Food Safety Tips for your Super Bowl Party". U.S. Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on October 18, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  4. ^ American Football League Official Guide 1964. Saint Louis, Missouri: The Sporting News. 1964. p. 41.
  5. ^ Tinley, Josh (January 31, 2012). "'Super Bowl' – Why Do We Call It That? Why Roman Numerals?". Midwest Sports Fans. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Corny and a bit presumptuous, but it's still the 'Super Bowl'". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. Associated Press. January 7, 1970. p. 1C. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "What to name the Super Bowl? Rozelle asks newsmen to help". Fort Scott Tribune. Kansas. Associated Press. May 26, 1967. p. 8. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "'Super Bowl' Site May Be Rose Bowl". The Evening Standard. Associated Press. July 18, 1966. p. 14. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "Merge Gives Incentive to AFL Champs – Collier". Pottstown Mercury. Associated Press. July 30, 1966. p. 12. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  10. ^ MacCambridge, Michael (2004). America's Game. New York: Random House. p. 237.
  11. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (June 4, 2014). "NFL won't use Roman numerals for Super Bowl 50". National Football League. Archived from the original on December 1, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Wilner, Barry (March 30, 2021). "NFL moves to 17-game regular season, 2022 Super Bowl pushed back a week". WGRZ. Archived from the original on February 14, 2022. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
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External links[edit]