We came as close as we have come, but the Super Bowl curse for the host city will not be broken this year. No team has played on their home field in the Super Bowl, let alone added their names to the list of winners.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Super Bowl 52 will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium. Home of the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota was just one win away from doing something no team had done before. While they came up short, they did make some history. The Vikings were the first host team to earn a first round-bye (only second to win their division). They were also the first to play in their conference championship game. Minnesota was favored to win, but ended up losing 38-7 to the Eagles.
It was a rare strong showing for the host team. It’s only the fifth time since 1994 that the team hosting the big event just made the playoffs. The other three were the Dolphins (1998) Bucs (2000), Cardinals (2014) and Texans (2016).
Super Bowl Curse: Sites at Non-NFL Venues & Two Close Calls
There have been a couple instances where the game was played in a stadium that no NFL team called home. The Rose Bowl was used five times from 1977 to 1993 and Stanford Stadium hosted in 1985.
It just so happens that the closest we have come to a team playing at home in the Super Bowl has come at these two venues. In Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams took on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rose Bowl was just a little over 14 miles from LA Memorial Coliseum. The other instance where this took place was Super Bowl XIX. The San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins faced off at Stanford Stadium. The 49ers’ Candlestick Park was roughly 30 miles from Stanford Stadium.
You could also throw in throw in the 1974 Super Bowl at Rice Stadium in the mix. The Houston Oilers had previously called this stadium their home. However, they moved to the Astrodome several years prior to Rice Stadium serving as the host.
From Good to Bad: Struggles of Teams During Year Scheduled to Host Super Bowl
What’s really been amazing is the difference in the records of the host teams the prior year compared to the season they are hosting the Super Bowl. Over the last 25 years the overall record of NFL teams who are set to host the Super the next season is 233-199 (53.9%). The very next year these same teams have gone a miserable 191-241 (44.2%).
Here are some recent examples of this whacky trend. The 2013 Super Bowl was played at the Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints were coming off a 13-3 campaign and many thought this curse would be put to rest. Next thing you know the Bounty scandal is announced and New Orleans goes 7-9 and fails to make the playoffs.
In 2012 the Indianapolis Colts were set to host the Super Bowl. This team figured to be in the mix, as Peyton Manning was in his prime. That was until Manning missed the entire season with a neck injury. The Colts wound up finishing with a record of 2-14. It was the fourth time that the host team ended up with the worst record in the league.
It doesn’t stop with the Saints and Colts. There was plenty of hype surrounding the Cowboys heading into the 2010 regular season. Dallas was coming off a playoff appearance and 11-5 record in 2009. The Cowboys unexpectedly opened 1-7 and would finish 6-10.
The prior year the Dolphins suffered a similar fate. Miami went 11-5 and made the playoffs in 2008, only to go 7-9 when the SB was coming to town. You also can’t forget about Jon Gruden’s last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay made the playoffs in 2007 with a 9-7 record. They finished with the same record and miss out on the postseason the next year.
The curse has been especially painful for the Chargers. In the three seasons where they were set to host, they compiled a record of 20-29. However, that’s not the part that sticks out to Chargers’ fans. The team to represent the AFC those 3 years were all division rivals. Maybe the move to Los Angeles will help turn things around.
On the bright side of this curse is that it does benefit the host city when their team doesn’t make the Super Bowl. Having fans from two different teams travel to the game, provides a much bigger bump to the economy.
List of Upcoming Super Bowl Venues/Teams
|2018||U.S. Bank Stadium||Vikings|
|2020||Hard Rock Stadium||Dolphins|
|2021||Raymond James Stadium||Buccaneers|
|2022||LA Stadium at Hollywood Park||Rams/Chargers|