How many teams have played in the Super Bowl in their home stadium?
The Los Angeles Rams outlasted the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI at Sofi Stadium two Sundays from now.
The Los Angeles Rams had one objective coming into this season, and that was reaching Super Bowl Sunday at Sofi Stadium on February 13th. Obviously that’s the objective of every NFL team that takes the field on Week 1 of the regular season, but for the Rams there was extra incentive.
Super Bowl finalist playing at home for second straight year
With their win over the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles will become the second team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
The Super Bowl has been around for more than half of a century, but in the 55 seasons leading up to this year’s Super Bowl only last year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned the right to play for the Lombardi Trophy on their turf.
Like the Rams, Tampa Bay built up a team hoping to reach the Super Bowl in the immediate future. They brought in Tom Brady before the season, and eventually Rob Gronkowski followed. Like Los Angeles, they made the playoffs, but had to win three straight to get to Super Bowl Sunday. And like Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady led his team to a road win in the NFC Championship.
Tampa won it all at Raymond James last year
Tampa Bay then met the the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium two weeks later. The Bucs won 31-9 as Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and won his 5th Super Bowl MVP.
The Rams will be hoping to reenact Brady and the Bucs when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Sofi Stadium on the 13th of February.
The Minnesota Vikings came close to playing hosts in the Super Bowl back in 2017, when U.S. Bank Stadium was tabbed as the venue of the big game. Minnesota would fall a game short, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship.
On a couple other occasions, a team went to the Super Bowl which was hosted in their city, but didn’t play in the same stadium. In 1980 the Los Angeles Rams made it to the title game, but played Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl instead of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The same thing would happen to the San Francisco 49ers in 1985. That season they played their games at Candlestick Park but played Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium.
Sofi Stadium was opened in September of 2020, and will host it’s first ever Super Bowl in a couple week’s time. It will be the first time the city of Los Angeles has hosted the big game since 1993.
Because the Super Bowl is played in February, warmer cities tend to be chosen as the destination for the title game, so most teams from up north have missed out on having the chance to host a Super Bowl. Miami has hosted the Super Bowl more than any city, with 11. New Orleans sits right behind Miami with 10, and rounding out the top three is Los Angeles with seven.
While they may be playing in their back yard, the Rams will be the “away” team given it was the AFC’s turn to be the designated home team even before the playoffs had started.