The Super Bowl curse for the host city will not be broken this year. Believe it not, no team has played on their home field in the Super Bowl. For those of you wondering, Super Bowl 51 will be played at NRG Stadium. Home of the Houston Texans.
What’s amazing is how often these teams struggle just to be competitive the year they are hosting. As you know, the Texans made the playoffs this year by winning the AFC South. Houston was recently eliminated by the Patriots in the Divisional Round.
Simply getting to the playoffs was quite an accomplishment for the Texans. It’s only the fourth time it’s happened since 1994. The other three were the Dolphins (1998) Bucs (2000) and Cardinals (2014).
Super Bowl 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 225-191 (54.1%). The very next year these same teams have gone a miserable 178-238 (42.8%).
Over the last 25 years the overall record of NFL teams who are set to host the Super the next season is 225-191 (54.1%). The very next year these same teams have gone a miserable 178-238 (42.8%).
We have seen this weird trend in full effect of late. 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.
The previous year the Indianapolis Colts were set to host the Super Bowl. This team figured to be in the mix. That was until Peyton Manning misses 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 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||City of Champions Stadium||Rams/Chargers|
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