Once again, the Sunshine State is hosting a Big Game. Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs took down the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens last February.
The Tampa area is no stranger to hosting a Super Bowl. Just how many times has the Big Game been played there?
Tampa Bay is hosting Super Bowl 55
Football fans still hoping for a snowy Super Bowl will have to wait yet another year.
The NFL has long tried playing its biggest game in warm-climate areas, and that won’t change in 2021. The Tampa Bay area is hosting Super Bowl 55, a matchup between Tom Brady’s Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs.
The Buccaneers, obviously, play in Tampa Bay. When the game kicks off on February 7, they will officially become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
The city last hosted a Super Bowl 43 in February 2009
Patrick Mahomes was only 13 years old the last time the NFL played a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.
Let’s turn the clock back to February 2009, when Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers played Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals. Roethlisberger was searching for his second NFL title in four seasons.
Arizona and Pittsburgh slugged it out for the entire 60 minutes. Steelers linebacker James Harrison intercepted one of Warner’s passes at the goal-line and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown to end the first half.
Harrison’s touchdown gave Pittsburgh a 17-7 lead. Arizona clawed back in the third quarter and eventually went up, 23-20, on Larry Fitzgerald‘s 64-yard touchdown reception with 2:37 left in the game.
Then came Roethlisberger and the Steelers. With only 35 seconds remaining, Roethlisberger found receiver Santonio Holmes on an 8-yard touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 27-23 lead.
With 15 seconds left and Arizona at the Steelers’ 44-yard line, Warner fumbled while preparing to throw a Hail Mary. Roethlisberger took a knee to seal the victory.
What other Big Games has the Tampa Bay area hosted?
Super Bowl 55 is the fifth time that the Tampa Bay area has hosted a Big Game.
For reference let’s quickly summarize the four other games. We apologize in advance to Buffalo Bills fans.
Super Bowl 43 (Feb. 1, 2009): As mentioned above, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers held off Kurt Warner and the Cardinals in a 27-23 victory. Pittsburgh became the first team to win six Super Bowl rings, although the New England Patriots tied that record in 2019.
Super Bowl 35 (Jan. 28, 2001): Star linebacker Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens routed the New York Giants, 34-7. Famously, Baltimore did not re-sign starting quarterback Trent Dilfer, who went 11-1 as the starter across the regular season and playoffs.
Super Bowl 25 (Jan. 27, 1991): Look away, Bills fans. The New York Giants hung on for a 20-19 victory when Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Super Bowl 18 (Jan. 22, 1984): Marcus Allen and the Los Angeles Raiders ran over the Washington Redskins in a 38-9 blowout. Allen ran for a then-record 191 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. A Los Angeles-based team has not won a Super Bowl since this game.