10 Stadiums That Should Host Super Bowls – But Never Will

Written By Brant James on January 10, 2022 - Last Updated on February 11, 2022

A Super Bowl site is about hotel rooms, luxury boxes, and landing strips for private jets. Then there’s weather and a stylish place for Snoop’s party and many other things most of the venues on this list lack.

That’s why Tampa, South Florida, New Orleans, and other temperate sports tourism meccas will continue to host them. And why these 10 places won’t, although each has a particular something.

With the Super Bowl being pretty much a made-for-TV event for the 100 million or so not in attendance, it might as well be held on a soundstage or the Bonneville Salt Flats. So here’s PlayUSA‘s serious-and-not list of 10 venues that would add as much to the Super Bowl as the game would add to their legacy…but will never get the chance.

1. Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc.

Easy one. Cold. Snow. Misery. What better reward for a slog of an NFL season and a flogging of a sub-zero Super Bowl than the chance to raise a frozen piece of metal with those remaining attached fingers? Don’t kiss it. The NFL could charge the bluebloods whatever it wanted for those 200 suites.

2. Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

The showplace of Mexican soccer would be a splendid site for the showpiece of the NFL. And it doesn’t hurt, per the league’s data, that Mexico houses 22 million fans, seven million of them ‘avid.’ The NFL played regular-season games there beginning in 2016. And as a world capital, Mexico City also checks a lot of the boxes of traditional Super Bowl venues.

Azteca is perhaps the most likely of these unlikely few to host the game, assuming Shakira doesn’t intervene. Canada might be mad, and so might American xenophobes. Whatever. Maxim party at Miralto!

Workers prepare a billboard for an NFL football game Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Mexico City. The New England Patriots will face the Oakland Raiders in Aztec Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 19. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

3. Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

‘Big Game in the Big House.’ You’re welcome, marketing department. At 107,601 in seating capacity, the Wolverines’ stadium would set the record for all-time Super Bowl attendance, surpassing XIV in the Rose Bowl (103,985). One of America’s most notable college towns could also do a decent job hosting. And imagine if a certain alum brought his team to the game.

4. Mitchell Stadium, Bluefield, West Virginia

Bluefield has gray skies, many hills, and the East River Mountain Scenic Overlook. According to a USA Today online poll, it also had “America’s Best High School Football Stadium” in 2019. West Virginia and Virginia Tech played the highest-profile football game there in 1953, and it’s time for the next evolution. The lone Comfort Inn would have a good weekend. Hopefully, Joe Manchin would go along with it.

5. Ratliff Stadium, Odessa, Texas

It opened in 1982. Capacity: 19,302. Middle of nowhere. But it was the backdrop for “Friday Night Lights.” Now you get it. Major League Baseball had its Field of Dreams game, and the National Hockey League goes back to the pseudo pond every year. It’s time for the NFL to go for the goosebumps. Free advice: play the first-ever Friday-night Super Bowl.

6. Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

Yes, the goal here is a blizzard and testing what the players’ lungs and the VIPs can take in the Mile High City. However, the weather here isn’t as bad in January-February as you think. Plus, there are 11,000 hotel rooms downtown and all the offerings of a modern big-league burg. Fans could even bet in CO with their phones if their fingers can move.

This Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, a file photograph, Empower Field at Mile High, is shown in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

7. LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah

The home of Brigham Young football boasts arguably the most beautiful sightlines in college sports, with Mount Timpanogos and the Wasatch Mountain Range looming. Fans would be so distracted they perhaps wouldn’t care who’s performing at halftime. The high probability of snow only makes the scene more breathtaking, which will already be a thing at 4,551 feet.

In Provo, Utah, fans watch the BYU, Washington NCAA college football game in Lavell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. Washington defeated BYU 45-19. (AP Photo/George Frey)

8. Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium, Miami, Florida

The state with the most active NFL players deserves a home game. A different one. And this gem, polished by a $2 million Nike-funded renovation before Super Bowl LIV, has provided the springboard for more future NFL players than any high school field in the country.

9. St. James’ Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

It feels like Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London will eventually get a Super Bowl – and the club wants one in 2026 – even with the 49 degrees and meh in February. If the NFL wants an actual English – practically Scottish! – experience, it should bring the Super Bowl to the Gallowgate end for some meat pies and brown ales.

10. Tecmo Bowl Stadium, NES console

The 8-bit beauty was not just the personal playground of a digital Bo Jackson. Gaze into those beautiful blue skies and that booming city, no doubt brimming with hotel space and entertainment options. Maxim party at Zeldas!

 

Photo by Morry Gash / The Associated Press
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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