With the Buccaneers set to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the discussion around Super Bowl host cities has become relevant as ever.
🖐 DAYS! (by @Ford)
— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2021
In just 5 days, the Raymond James stadium in Tampa Bay will play host to the 55th Super Bowl. It will be the first time in NFL history that a team plays a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Of course, as soon as the Bucs reigned victorious over Green Bay in the NFC Championship game, many fans raised the concern that it would be an unfair advantage for Bruce Arians’ men.
It remains to be seen just how much of an advantage it really gives them, though, considering that there will only be 22,000 fans in attendance. Either way, it isn’t a situation which the league particularly attempts to avoid.
When you understand how Super Bowl host cities are determined, it becomes evident that it is simply a coincidence that no team has played at home before and why it is not possible to change the location in such a situation.
How Is the Super Bowl Location Decided?
It’s interesting to see how much the selection process has changed over the years. Originally, the host city was chosen on the basis of having warm weather in early February.
This is why cities like LA, New Orleans, and Miami have hosted so many. In fact, last year Miami hosted the game for a NFL record 11th time.
But recently, the selection process has changed quite a bit. Clearly since Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl just a few years ago, weather is no longer the deciding factor.
According to Michael Zimmer, President of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, it worked on a bidding system for a number of years.
The league would invite cities to bid, shortlist a handful of finalists, ask those cities to submit an official bid document detailing their plan, and finally the 32 owners would vote on it.
However more recently, as reported by CNN, the NFL doesn’t use the bidding system anymore. “Now what they’re doing is going to a model where they (NFL) will ask you if you would like to host the game, and if you accept, then you negotiate the terms,” said Zimmer.
“It takes a little over a year to put together a bid,” he continued. “It is about a 600-page document. What we do is we go to the (NFL) owners meeting, we pitch to the owners, and then the 32 owners vote on the cities they want to host the games.”
Hosts for the Next 5 Years
Given the amount of planning required, the league selects host cities well in advance. It was back in 2017 that the NFL decided to play Super Bowl LV in Tampa.
They originally planned for LA to host, but due to delays in the construction of the So-Fi Stadium, Tampa was bumped up by a year.
The hosts for the next 4 years after this Sunday are LA, Arizona, TBD, and New Orleans