The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it has been hosted in some iconic locations over the years. From Miami’s sun-kissed Hard Rock Stadium to New Orleans’ historic Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the championship game is renowned for its grand settings.
This year, the spectacle will be arriving at a brand new city and venue. In February, Las Vegas will host Super Bowl LVIII at the brand-spanking new Allegiant Stadium. The eyes of America will be on the 65,000-capacity arena as either the Baltimore Ravens or the reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, face off against the San Francisco 49ers or the Detroit Lions in the hopes of lifting the Lombardi.
But Vegas isn’t the only first-time host in the last few years. Here are some of the most acclaimed venues that hosted the Super Bowl for the first time, in recent years:
East Rutherford, New Jersey
This year, outright markets for Super Bowl odds have made the San Francisco 49ers the favorites for glory, just as they had the Denver Broncos back in 2014. For many years, the Big Game had been a warm weather affair, with most games taking place in sunny states such as Florida, Texas, and California. However, a decade ago, the championship game made its way to East Rutherford, New Jersey, and the newly-built MetLife Stadium.
Besides the iconic halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the game was a milestone for the Seattle Seahawks, who lifted the Lombardi for the first time in franchise history with a dominant 43-8 victory against Peyton Manning’s favorites, with the result being the most lopsided Super Bowl in history. Can either of the other three contenders usurp the favorites this year just as the Legion of Boom did back then?
In 2018, the Super Bowl headed to another icy destination, with Minneapolis, Minnesota hosting the championship game for the first time. US Bank Stadium, the home of the Vikings, was the backdrop for the event, and it put on a show that will be remembered for years to come.
As the mercury plunged far below zero in the lead-up to the game, fans donned thick layers and braved the cold to enjoy the atmosphere and revel in the excitement. One team that certainly enjoyed the conditions was the Philadelphia Eagles. They put their years of hurt behind them as they finally secured the Lombardi with a 41-33 against the defending champion New England Patriots in one of the most enthralling Super Bowls of all time.
In 2019, the Super Bowl returned to Georgia for the first time since 2000, but it wasn’t Fulton County Stadium or the Georgia Dome that played host. Instead, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in 2017, became the newest venue to welcome the championship game. Tom Brady and his Patriots managed to put the agony of their defeat to the Eagles the year before behind them, knocking off the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a tight and cagey affair.