Even before the game has been played it’s safe to say that we’ll never forget Super Bowl LV. It will be forever remembered as the Super Bowl that ended a season that was played through a global pandemic. The fact that the game will be played at all is something that looked far from a sure thing at the start of the season. While tickets to Super Bowl LV will be in short supply compared to past Super Bowls, the game will be played and will be a historic occasion for the NFL and American sports. But aside from the obvious, let’s take a look at some fun facts and interesting tidbits about Super Bowl LV.
A Little Late
Super Bowl LV will take place on February 7, 2021. As a result, it will tie two previous Super Bowls as the latest on the calendar that a Super Bowl has ever been played. Super Bowl 44 and Super Bowl 55 were also played on February 7. However, that record is likely to fall in a few years. Super Bowl 58 is currently scheduled for February 11, 2014, making it the deepest into February a Super Bowl will ever be played to date.
The 12-Year Wait
Super Bowl LV will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida with full football news coverage from kickoff to the awards ceremony. This will be the fifth time that Tampa has hosted the Super Bowl, and the third time the game will be played at Raymond James Stadium. However, it’s the first time the game has returned to Tampa in 12 years. A memorable Super Bowl 43 between the Steelers and Cardinals was Tampa’s last Super Bowl. The city first hosted Super Bowl 18, which was played at Tampa Stadium. Super Bowl 25 between the Giants and Bills was also played at Tampa Stadium. Since opening in 1998, Raymond James Stadium has hosted two Super Bowls.
Initially, Raymond James Stadium was in line to host Super Bowl 56, while Super Bowl 55 was set to be hosted at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. However, the new home stadium of the Rams and Chargers experienced some delays during construction, and so it wasn’t ready until right before the start of the 2020 season. As a result, the NFL owners agreed to swap years for Tampa and Inglewood, making Raymond James Stadium the venue for Super Bowl 55 and pushing SoFi Stadium’s first Super Bowl to February 2022.
A Little Makeover
Part of the reason why Raymond James Stadium went 12 years between Super Bowl was the stadium needed some refurbishing. The NFL prefers to play the Super Bowl in newer stadiums with first-class accommodations that will impress fans. After Raymond James started to show some signs of aging, it received several renovations and upgrades in 2016. Among the improvements made were two large video boards behind each end zone and video towers in each corner of the stadium. Improvements were also made to the stadium’s sound system, as well as the luxury boxes. Both of which were upgrades that made Raymond James Stadium more appealing as a Super Bowl venue.
The Dirty Dozen
While there have been 54 previous Super Bowls, there are 12 NFL franchises that have yet to win a Super Bowl ahead of Super Bowl LV. Of those 12 teams, the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Tennessee Titans qualified for the playoffs, with the Browns hoping to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
The Main Event?
The Super Bowl halftime show has long been considered just as appealing as the game itself. In fact, Michael Jackson’s performance during halftime of Super Bowl 27 between the Cowboys and Bills received higher ratings than the game, which ended 52-17. Katy Perry also drew more TV sets than the game itself when she performed at halftime of Super Bowl 49, and that was the most-watched Super Bowl in NFL history. This year, Canadian singer The Weeknd is the headliner of the halftime show. It’s also worth noting that the NFL doesn’t pay performers of the halftime show. However, they receive tons of free publicity and a massive audience due to the game’s popularity.
And the Winner Is…
It’s too soon to predict who will win Super Bowl 55. The two participants will be decided on January 24 each both the AFC and NFC play their conference championship games. The representative from the AFC will be hoping that its conference’s domination over the previous decade carries over into the 2020s. The AFC representative has won six of the last eight Super Bowls. In fact, the AFC has won 15 of the last 23 Super Bowls, a stretch that followed a streak of 13 straight NFC victories throughout the late 1980s and 90s.
Of course, there’s been a passing of the torch, as the New England Patriots, who have won three of the last six Super Bowls, failed to qualify for the playoffs this season. Last year’s Super Bowl loser, the San Francisco 49ers, also failed to make the playoffs. However, the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are very much alive and looking to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the Patriots did it in Super Bowls 38 and 39.