In January or February each year since 1967, the American Football Conference and National Football Conference champions of the National Football League (NFL) square off in the Super Bowl.
This monumental sporting event has been on the books since the NFL and its competitor the American Football League (AFL) combined to become the current league in 1966.
The inaugural event took place under the name of the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, which took place on 15 January 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Many things have changed since that first showdown – not least how the host city is selected.
The event is held in a different city every year, with hosts such as Miami, Houston, and New Orleans rising to the task over the years. In the future, which cities will follow suit? Where has the Super Bowl been hosted the most in the past?
Which cities have hosted the Superbowl?
Since the first Super Bowl in 1967, some cities have hosted it more than others.
Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena, California, on 20 January 1980, still holds the record for the biggest crowd with 103,985 spectators – the event saw the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Los Angeles Rams 31-19, winning their fourth championship in six years. Pittsburgh had the honour of playing the NFL game with the highest attendance in Pasadena, and it also retains the record for most Super Bowl victories by a single team, tied now with the New England Patriots.
Miami, with its warm climate and large hospitality sector, holds the distinction as the city that has hosted the most Super Bowls in history, with 11 of them taking place in the city. The Super Bowl was held in Miami in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2020. New Orleans sits just behind with ten total innings as the host.
Undoubtedly, there have been some mishaps along the way, as there almost always are at public events. For instance, the Superdome in New Orleans was not completed in time for the event. The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys were then forced to play in nearby Tulane Stadium, which had an open top, making this Super Bowl the coldest one ever recorded, with temperatures dropping below 4°C.
Who will host it in the future?
The Super Bowl is the most eagerly awaited sporting event in the US; fans are always interested in learning all there is to know about it, from the team to the players to the locations.
To cater to the anticipation, the NFL has revealed where the Super Bowl will be played for the next two seasons:
- Super Bowl LVIII: 10 February 2024, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Super Bowl LIX: 9 February 2025, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Las Vegas will host its first Super Bowl in 2024 as a result of the construction of the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in 2020. Due to a clash with the Mardi Gras celebration, New Orleans‘ turn as host of the Super Bowl LVIII was postponed to 2025 from its intended date of 2024.
The NFL has not yet disclosed the venue for the 2026 edition. However, there have been rumours that Super Bowl LX may take place at Levi Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers’ home field. The team’s president Al Guido shared that they started conversing with the NFL about the possibility of hosting the Super Bowl in either 2026 or 2027. The last time it hosted the event at the 50th Superbowl in 2016, the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10.
How are Superbowl cities selected?
In the past 55 years, the reasoning behind the city selection revolved around weather and temperatures, hence why 36 Super Bowls have been staged in locations with warm weather such as Los Angeles and San Diego. However, the Super Bowl host city’s selection process is no longer determined by climate.
These days, the Super Bowl selection committee receives bids from each city, which are then subjected to a stringent vetting procedure. The cities that make it to the final round then have just 15 minutes to convince everyone that they should be the hosts.
The NFL’s host-city requirements are also anything but typical. Some of the most unique ones are that the chosen city must have a minimum of three golf courses open the summer and spring before the match, or provide free curbside parking to make the location a “high-end, exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for our most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network and conduct business”.
Who hosted the 2023 Superbowl?
The Super Bowl of 2023 occurred in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This year, the Philadelphia Eagles played the Kansas City Chiefs.
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