The NFL definitely has a thing for Florida when it comes to Super Bowls, which makes sense. Just gotta cross your fingers that the rain stays away for one night.
Super Bowl 55 will take place in Tampa, Florida, at the home of the Buccaneers, one year after Miami Gardens played host to Super Bowl 54, which was won by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Tom Brady, now a Buccaneer himself, will clash with the defending champions in 2021’s big game.
Tampa Bay is the first team in Super Bowl history to play in its home stadium. There will also be the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications hanging over the game.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to roll with the punches. It seems nearly impossible that the NFL would allow its showcase event to be canceled, so expect the league to take that approach and just plow forward. At worst, everyone can sit at home, listen to Tony Romo’s brilliant color commentary on CBS and judge Roger Goodell’s mask during the trophy presentation.
Below is everything you need to know about the Super Bowl in 2021, the 55th iteration of what has grown into America’s biggest sporting event.
The Super Bowl has never been played later on the calendar than Feb. 7, with Super Bowl 50 (Panthers vs. Broncos) and Super Bowl 44 (Saints vs. Colts) also played on that date. It comes, as it often does, after a scheduled off week following the conference championship games. The Pro Bowl is played during that off week.
The 2021 Super Bowl was originally slated to be broadcast by NBC as part of its rotation with CBS and Fox that was agreed upon in 2006. But to package the Super Bowl with the 2022 Winter Olympics, NBC switched places with CBS, allowing CBS to broadcast Super Bowl 55.
CBS has broadcast the Super Bowl more than any other network, as this will be the 21st edition of the game shown on CBS. The network will surely have its top broadcast crew on the game, which means Jim Nantz providing play-by-play details while Tony Romo adds color commentary.
Every Super Bowl since 2003 has taken place during the first week of February. From 1967-2003, all but one Super Bowl took place in January.
The 2021 Super Bowl is taking place at the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but don’t call the city itself Tampa Bay — that’s just a construct used by professional sports teams. Raymond James Stadium is located in Tampa, Florida, the third time a Super Bowl is taking place at that stadium and the fifth overall time in Tampa.
The game was originally slated to take place in Los Angeles, but some construction delays meant that the NFL owners voted in May 2017 to move Super Bowl 55 to Tampa and instead give L.A. Super Bowl 56.
The NFL rarely awards Super Bowls to anything considered out-of-date, so it’s only natural that Raymond James Stadium recently underwent renovations that include an advanced HD video system, with two large video boards (one at each end of the stadium) and four HD tower walls, ranking it as the third-largest video board system in the NFL.
Raymond James Stadium holds 65,000 people and can be expanded to hold 75,000, although in 2020, the Buccaneers haven’t hosted even 20,000 fans at a game yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls and we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meet the requirements for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021,” Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a release. “Today’s announcement offers us the opportunity to showcase Tampa Bay’s unique ability to come together as a host for world-class events.”
Super Bowl 18 (Raiders 38, Washington 9) was the first iteration of the game to take place in Tampa at the old Tampa Stadium, which also hosted Super Bowl 25 (Giants 20, Bills 19). The game came back to Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl 35 (Ravens 34, Giants 7) and Super Bowl 43 (Steelers 27, Cardinals 23).