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.
SUPER BOWL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight-up predictions
When is Super Bowl 2021?
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.
Where is Super Bowl 2021?
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).
Super Bowl 2021 odds
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers opened as underdogs to defeated Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. Kansas City was the preseason favorite (+600) to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles, while Tampa held the fifth-best odds (+1200) after signing Brady.
Future Super Bowl locations, host sites
There’s a bit of added intrigue to the list of future Super Bowl hosts thanks to the NFL’s recent decision to move the next Super Bowl that New Orleans hosts back to 2025. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome was slated to host the 2024 event, but a conflict with Mardi Gras combined with the NFL’s 17-game regular season made that change necessary.
According to CNBC, the NFL will decide on the 2024 host during the next year. It’ll look for what it does with all its hosts — the latest amenities and renovations, prime location for fans and the head honchos, along with pretty much always choosing a warm-weather spot (or if needed, a dome).
Below are the sites the NFL has pinned as future Super Bowl locations.
Super Bowl halftime show 2021
The Weeknd will be performing at halftime at Super Bowl 55, and yes that’s spelled correctly.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is a Canadian singer-songwriter known as The Weeknd. He’ll be following up a Super Bowl 54 halftime show that featured Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. The Weeknd is a three-time Grammy winner with a wide array of songs to choose from that hit a number of genres, from upbeat pop songs to mellower R&B tunes.
The Weeknd’s three Grammy wins are:
Sporting News’ Joe Rivera broke down the ideal setlist for The Weeknd when the news was announced. Here’s a look at the songs The Weeknd should perform.
Super Bowl national anthem singer 2021
The NFL announced on Jan. 19 that the national anthem singers at Super Bowl 55 will be Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan. Church is a highly acclaimed country artist, while Sullivan has been a fixture of R&B charts as a top-notch vocalist.
As part of the pregame festivities, there’ll also be a rendition of America the Beautiful. That’ll be sung by H.E.R., another R&B artist who’s received 13 Grammy nominations over the past three years.
Super Bowl 2021 tickets
If you’re hoping to go to Super Bowl 55, know that it’s not cheap. The COVID-19 pandemic could also change how many fans are allowed in the stadium, but the NFL right now is proceeding in its ticket sales like it’s any other year.
The league’s official Super Bowl ticket site offers four packages, starting at $6750. Those packages are as follows:
A few years ago, Sporting News looked into how the Average Joe can afford to attend the Super Bowl. The easy answer, we found: It depends.
Super Bowl winners by year
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