Date: February 5, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (unofficial)
Location: NRG Stadium in Houston
Teams: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
After a six-year hiatus, the Super Bowl will return to the Lone Star State in 2017. The National Football League’s championship game was last played in Texas in 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And for the third time in NFL history, the city of Houston will play host to the biggest game in American professional sports this coming February.
For the second time in NFL history, the Super Bowl will occur at the home of the Houston Texans, NRG Stadium in downtown Houston. NRG Stadium opened in August 2002, and has a capacity of just under 72,000, with the ability to expand to accommodate more seating when necessary (Hint: you can expect to see standing room only tickets available for Super Bowl 51).
The facility has a retractable roof, but given the game’s magnitude, it will almost surely be played indoors with the roof closed. More importantly, unlike Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif., one thing the league won’t have to worry about at this year’s Super Bowl is the quality and the conditions of the field, as NRG Stadium features artificial turf.
It may be two weeks away, but here’s who the oddsmakers at the sportsbooks in Las Vegas are currently giving the best odds to win Super Bowl 51 in 2017. History proves, though, that every one of the teams that looks good on paper now are one or two key injuries away from being just another middle-of-the-road team.
As we mentioned, the city of Houston is no stranger to hosting major sporting events. Since NRG Stadium opened in 2002, the Houston stadium has hosted one Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004), two NCAA Men’s College Basketball Final Fours, numerous international soccer matches and concerts, and college football’s annual Texas Bowl (since 2006). On top of that, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a co-tenant (with the Texans) of NRG Stadium.
Meet the Fox Broadcast Team
Fox won the right to broadcast Super Bowl 51, and the network will have its top crew working the game (barring any unforeseen changes in plans). Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman will join longtime sportscaster Joe Buck in the booth, while Erin Andrews, Tony Siragusa, and Jason Whitlock will provide sideline commentary and in-studio analysis.
Future Super Bowl locations
Minneapolis, Minnesota – 2018
In 2018, Super Bowl 52 will occur at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The new home of the Minnesota Vikings, which cost just over $1 billion to build, was officially completed on June 17, 2016 and features the five largest pivoting glass doors in the world. The first regular-season NFL game in U.S. Bank Stadium history will be a Sunday Night Football matchup between the Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
Atlanta, Georgia – 2019
In 2019, Super Bowl 53 will go down at the future home of the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (see above video), which is scheduled to complete construction in early June 2017. The Falcons will play their final season at the Georgia Dome in 2016 before officially moving to their new $1.4 billion dwelling in downtown Atlanta for the 2017 season.
Miami, Florida – 2020
Currently, Super Bowl 54 is scheduled to take place Miami at New Miami Stadium in 2020. This would mark the sixth time in NFL history that the Super Bowl would be played in the Miami area.
Los Angeles, California – 2021
Super Bowl 55 is currently slated to occur in Los Angeles in 2021, presumably at the new billion-dollar stadium that will be built to house the LA Rams and any other franchise that relocates to the area.
Information courtesy of ESPN.