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Should the Super Bowl Be a Neutral Site Game?

Mario Tama

The Super Bowl will probably always be at a neutral location rather than one of the teams hosting the game. It makes things easier on the league and the host city. Instead of having one week to set up travel, transportation, security, sites for parties and the media, and other logistics, everybody now has years in advance. The league can continue use the event as a carrot for cities to help build new stadiums. Not having the event at a neutral site would not allow the league to give away as many tickets to its sponsors as hometown fans would need to get the bulk of the tickets. For all of these reasons and more, this is purely a hypothetical topic. I would like to discuss it, though.

The Super Bowl is not really about football. It is an event that happens to feature a football game. Part of this is playing the game at a neutral site. This prevents most fans of the teams from being at the game. Those who do have to pay an arm and a leg. The audience tends to be full of people who get tickets from the NFL's sponsors. This creates a sterile game environment.

This is part of the reason I usually enjoy the AFC and NFC Championship Games more. Those feel like real football games. You can feel the electricity in the stadiums just by watching the game on television. One team is rewarded for having the better regular season by getting to host the game. You see the home team's logo painted in the end zone and its colors all over the field. It is a real football atmosphere. I wish the Super Bowl would have that kind of atmosphere.

The NFL is the only major professional sports league in North America that contests its championship at a neutral site. This allows for the week to be taken over by off the field events. Again, since everybody knows years in advance where the game will be, there is plenty of time to set up all of the off field distractions. That would not be the case. There would probably be less parties, less media that doesn't care about football, and less distractions. There would, however, be slightly more significance in the regular season. Teams wouldn't be content to have the best record in their conference. They would have to aim to have the best record in the league to host the title game.

Ultimately, though, the only real reasons to have a participant host the game are football-related. That is not good enough. Less distractions also would mean less attention for the league and less money as a result. Football is the last consideration during the NFL's title game and will continue to be.

What do you think? We all know it will never happen, but do you agree the league would be better off having the team with the better record host the Super Bowl?