super bowl stadium
Source: Getty Images

FYI, This Is How the Super Bowl Stadium Is Chosen Every Year

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author
By

Feb. 10 2022, Updated 2:28 p.m. ET

The 2022 Super Bowl is almost here and fans are getting ready to watch the Los Angeles Rams face off against the Cincinnati Bengals. Every year, fans flock from across the country to the city where the game is being held.

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But how are the stadiums even chosen? It turns out that the city hosting the event is actually chosen years in advance of the actual game. Is it a weather issue? A venue or space issue? Who gets to decide these things? We did some digging.

Super bowl stadium
Source: Getty Images
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How exactly is a Super Bowl stadium chosen?

According to Hall of Fame Experiences, each city places a bid with the Super Bowl selection committee and "are put through a rigorous vetting process." It definitely benefits the city that hosts the Super Bowl because the game provides a "huge economic boost." Think about it — thousands will arrive in that city, spending cash on hotel rooms, food, tours, and shops. In 2017, CNBC reported Houston, which hosted the Super Bowl, brought in an estimated $350 million to the local economy.

It makes sense that Super Bowl locations are pre-planned and booked way in advance, so that super fans can plan ahead. Plus, organizing the Super Bowl takes more than just a Google spreadsheet. It's probably months (if not years) of planning and booking vendors and sponsors. The cities also need to know way ahead of time so that the hotels and restaurants can provide proper accommodations.

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According to Hall of Fame Experiences, the cities that make it to the final round of selection "present their case for 15 minutes, and each team owner from that city is given five minutes to make a plea."

What's factored into choosing which city gets to host the Super Bowl?

What goes into the pleas? Weather apparently used to be a factor, but that isn't the case so much anymore. Each city has to basically put on a show for the NFL owners. For example, in 2012, the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, hired middle schoolers to try and convince the owners after a typed-up letter they sent the year before failed to get anyone's attention. (The plan worked.)

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The Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2012
Source: Getty Images

The Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2012

According to The Christian Science Monitor, sometimes bribing works, too. In 2009, Tampa, Florida, promised NFL owners they'd take them out to golf, while in 2007, South Florida offered literal yachts. In 2011, NFL owners got new iPads that were custom designed with the team's logos.

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The Arizona Cardinals owner, Michael Bidwell, told the Arizona Central, "It's good old-fashioned lobbying. It's just working on relationships, asking for support and making sure we have a competitive bid. I literally spoke to everyone in the league seeking their support."

The NFL owners are allowed to demand a lot from the city hosting the Super Bowl.

In 2014, the Minneapolis Star Tribune got ahold of a copy of the NFL host-city requirements. They covered everything from access to three "top quality" golf courses during the summer or fall before the Super Bowl to free curbside parking at a yet-to-be designated NFL House — defined as a "high-end, exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for our most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network and conduct business."

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minneapolis stadium
Source: Getty Images

The US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2018

That gives you an idea of what the NFL expects from each city. It does mostly come down to money — and it is costly for cities to bid (and yes — that money is directly coming from taxpayers, aka, you!). According to The Street, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an investigation in 2019 that found Atlanta's bid for the Super Bowl cost $46 million. But, as we now know, the city does make it back — and then some.

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Where is the Super Bowl this year?

In 2022, Super Bowl LVI is taking place and will be held at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on Feb 13. According to the NFL, the venue opens at 11:30 a.m. Then, after the team warmups and player introductions, the National Anthem is sung at 3:10 p.m. by Mickey Guyton. Kickoff starts at 3:30 p.m. and then the halftime show starts at 5 p.m.

This year's halftime show is full of stars as usual. Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar will all be performing at the show.

"The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show and do it in my own backyard will be one of the biggest thrills of my career," Dre said in a statement, per Rolling Stone. He went on to call the event "an unforgettable cultural moment."

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