What is the Super Bowl? Super Bowl explained
From the origin of the name to the halftime show, here is everything you need to know about the Super Bowl.
What is the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the world’s premier American football competition.
The Super Bowl takes place in February each year, and is the final game of a season that traditionally begins in the first week of September.
The game sees the National Football Conference (NFC) champions take on the American Football Conference (AFC) champions. These are the two leagues that make up the NFL, each consisting of 16 teams.
The Super Bowl comes at the end of the play-offs, a single-elimination tournament that sees the seven teams with the best regular-season record from each conference compete for a place in the big game.
Why is it called the Super Bowl?
When the NFL merged with the American Football League in 1966, it was decided that the champions from each league would compete in the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
When Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt began referring to the game as the ‘Super Bowl’, the American media immediately tagged along.
Hunt claimed the name came to him when he was watching his children play with a Super Ball toy, and never expected the idea to stick.
The game officially became the Super Bowl in 1968, the third iteration of the AFL-NFL championship showdown.
Where does the Super Bowl take place?
The location of each Super Bowl is decided by the NFL, usually three to five years before each event.
The game has always been played in a city that hosts an NFL franchise at that time, although the possibility of an overseas Super Bowl has been discussed.
Previously, teams were allowed to bid for the right to host the Super Bowl, but this practice came to an end in 2018.
The decision is now made solely by the NFL, with a preferred location selected before that team submits a proposal, which is then ratified by the league.
There are several criteria that must be met for a stadium to host the Super Bowl, including a minimum of 70,000 seats.
Where will Super Bowl LV take place?
The 2021 edition of the Super Bowl, numbered LV or 55, will take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The Raymond James Stadium is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Who has won the most Super Bowls?
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots are both level on six Super Bowl titles each.
The Patriots have appeared in more Super Bowls than any other team, making 11 trips to the big game in their history.
There are 12 current NFL franchises that have never won the Super Bowl: the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.
Who won the 2020 Super Bowl?
The Kansas City Chiefs won the most recent Super Bowl, defeating the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
That was the Chiefs’ second Super Bowl title, and first since 1969.
How many people watch the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched broadcasts in America every year, consistently topping the charts as the most watched annual event.
The broadcast attracts more than 100m viewers each year, with the 2020 Super Bowl seeing a total of 148,500,000 tune in.
The 2015 event, Super Bowl XLIX, is the most-watched broadcast of any kind in American history, attracting an average of 114.4m and an all-time high of 168m in total.
What is the Super Bowl halftime show?
Between the second and third quarters of every Super Bowl, the halftime show takes place.
This originally consisted of marching bands from local schools and colleges, but recently has seen famous singers and bands perform.
The halftime show also features the American national anthem or America the Beautiful.
Many people tune in just to watch the halftime show, with performers such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake all featuring in recent years.
Why are Super Bowl commercials so expensive?
Super Bowl ad space is among the most expensive in the world, with a 30-second spot costing more than $5m.
The consistently large viewing figures are the reason behind this, with brands knowing they will have a guaranteed audience of more than 100m watching their adverts.
The need to create interesting and entertaining ads means that commercials have become an integral part of the Super Bowl experience, with many people tuning in to watch the ads alone.
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