Over the next five Super Bowls, the NFL will have a chance to showcase some of its finest stadiums. While there are plenty of new venues in the mix, this batch of stadiums also includes a facility that remains in top-tier condition more than a decade after its opening, and another that is about to complete a massive overhaul.
To provide a closer look at these facilities, Football Stadium Digest previews the next five Super Bowl venues. The countdown starts with next February’s Super Bowl LI and concludes with 2021’s Super Bowl LV, an event that will surely attract its fair share of hype over the next several years.
Super Bowl LI: NRG Stadium, Houston Texans
The Texans moved into what was then known as Reliant Stadium in 2003, and have maintained the facility’s state-of-the-art characteristics, adding to that work to complete a successful Super Bowl bid. In recent years, the NRG Stadiums’ videoboards have been enhanced to become one of the largest in the NFL, while an upgrade to the Wi-Fi network is expected to be complete before this season, along with several other new amenities.
In its bid, Houston managed to beat out South Florida after upgrades to the Miami Dolphins‘ stadium fell behind schedule. This will be Houston’s first Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, and its third overall.
Super Bowl LII: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium will open this season and it is already receiving considerable buzz for its design and technology features. Among them is the fixed, translucent roof that will open the stadium to the surrounding areas and LED lighting that allows the portions of the exterior to display variable colors.
There should be a better sense as to how U.S. Bank Stadium affects the NFL landscape once its first season is complete, but it looks like a worthy pick for this Super Bowl. The stadium’s seating capacity of 65,000 for Vikings’ games is expandable to 73,000 for larger events, and U.S. Bank Stadium’s location on the former site of the Metrodome will make it conveniently accessible from other downtown Minneapolis attractions. Minneapolis hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, making Super Bowl LII the second big game to take place in the city.
Super Bowl LIII: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons
Much like U.S. Bank Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is being touted as a versatile, state-of-the-art facility that will fit into its downtown surroundings. It also provides Atlanta with the proper showcase for its first Super Bowl since 2000.
The stadium’s glass exterior will give it a more open look and feel, as it will allow for views of downtown Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also feature several interesting technology features, including a 360 videoboard that is expected to the largest in the NFL and a retractable roof with eight panels, allowing it to open in a fashion that resembles camera lenses. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Stadium can be expanded from 71,000 seats to host in excess of 80,000 for large events, including the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LIV: New Miami Stadium, Miami Dolphins
While the Dolphins had hoped for an earlier chance to showcase the extreme makeover to their home facility-which was known as Sun Life Stadium through last season-this game will give the football world a chance to see the transformation in South Florida. Starting before the 2015 season, the Dolphins’ stadium was overhauled to include new seating, and upgrades to the stadium’s audio and video production systems are set to take place.
The upgrade that has received perhaps the most attention is the canopy that will be installed over the seating bowl. The shade structure will be installed before this season, and protect over 90% of the fans from the elements while leaving the playing surface open. Keeping the fans covered could be a necessity if Super Bowl LII is faced with the rainy conditions that affected Super Bowl XLIV, which is the last to be played in Miami.
This game will be the 11th Super Bowl to be played in the Miami area, allowing the market to surpass New Orleans for having hosted the most Super Bowls.
Super Bowl LV: City of Champions Stadium, Los Angeles Rams
Expected to take place in February 2021, Super Bowl LV will be a game that is highly anticipated because of its venue. City of Champions Stadium-which is the Inglewood facility’s temporary name-is being touted for its cutting-edge design features, including a translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof. With this structure in place, the stadium will be completely open to natural daylight. The field and seating bowl will be covered at the top, but the sides of the stadium will be open to allow for natural air flow.
City of Champions Stadium will be anchor a 298-acre development that will include an entertainment complex, as well as residential, lodging, dining, and recreation options. The complex itself is expected to carry a heavy focus on the NFL’s brand, assuring that it will receive significant attention during the game’s coverage. The Rams will move into City of Champions Stadium in time for the 2019 season, and could be joined by the San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders if one of those teams fails to secure a new stadium in another market. Super Bowl LV will be the first big game hosted in the Los Angeles area since Super Bowl XXVII was played at the Rose Bowl in 1993.
This article first appeared in the weekly Football Stadium Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Football Stadium Digest newsletter.