When South Florida was selected to host the 11th Super Bowl game in the area’s history just under four years ago, it wasn’t just a record breaking moment – it was a chance for the area to again shine in the spot light of hosting pro football’s biggest game.
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will take the field inside Hard Rock Stadium in what will be sixth time the stadium has hosted the big game, a stat that makes it the second most Super Bowls played in one location – just one behind New Orleans’ Superdome.
At third place on that list is the now former Orange Bowl Stadium near downtown Miami, a stadium that holds the designation of being the only location of back-to-back Super Bowl games. In January of 1968, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II – the final game for Vince Lombardi as the legendary head coach of the Packers.
The following year, history was made when the New York Jets of the former American Football League shocked the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III for a victory that helped make the game a rivalry just one a year before the leagues merged for the start of the 1970 season.
The 1970’s saw three games take place inside the Orange Bowl – with the Dallas Cowboys losing all of them to the Colts in Super Bowl V and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowls X and XIII – in what would be the final championships of pro football played in the stadium.
In January 1989, the Super Bowl made its return to the area after a decade away with Super Bowl XXIII showcasing a last minute comeback by the San Francisco 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals. Six years later, the 49ers won another championship inside what was called Joe Robbie Stadium as they defeated the San Diego Chargers for the fifth title in franchise history.
A milestone took place in Super Bowl XXXIII inside what was at that point called Pro Player Stadium when John Elway left the NFL a champion as the Denver Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons – and history was made eight years later when Tony Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
Super Bowl XLIV returned three years later as the New Orleans Saints, historically one of the worst franchises in the NFL for their early history, got the first Super Bowl title in franchise history with an upset win over the Colts.
New Orleans will get a chance to host their record tying 11th Super Bowl in February 2024, but the Miami Super Bowl committee is reportedly in the process of working on a possible bid to bring the game back to South Florida the following year.