What does a city need to provide to host the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl 50 takes place on Sunday just south of San Francisco

What does a city need to provide to host the Super Bowl?

A US Army soldier keeps guard outside of Levi's Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 50 (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers meet on Sunday night in Levi's Stadium at Super Bowl 50.

The new home of the San Francisco 49ers was only opened in the summer of 2014 and has already hosted last year's WrestleMania event, but won the rights to host Sunday's game back in 2013, more than a year before it was even opened.

How can a stadium that has not been fully built win the rights to host the biggest game in American Football? For the NFL, the Super Bowl is more than just 60 minutes of football. From the Monday of Super Bowl week, the focus of the American sporting public is based exclusively on one area of the country. 

Millions of dollars are pumped into the extravaganza, from sponsors' events in the build-up to the famous half-time ads. The Super Bowl is big business for the NFL, and the game on the Sunday is just the cherry on a big cake.

Levi's Stadium is home to the San Francisco 49ers. Picture by: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP/Press Association Images

Despite the focus being set on San Francisco and its surrounds this weekend, organising committees from Houston and Minneapolis will be keeping an eye on what happens at Levi's Stadium. Those two cities are to host the next two Super Bowls. In a similar situation to what happened with this year's hosts, Minneapolis' US Bank Stadium was named as a host stadium before it was finished. while the Minnesota Vikings move into the stadium later this year.

When Minneapolis and the Vikings won the bid to host Super Bowl LII in 2018, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune gained possession of a document from the NFL titled "Super Bowl LII Host City Bid Specifications and Requirements". The document shows a long and unusual list of demands that the NFL makes if you want to secure the biggest show on turf in your city.

The stadium in Minnesota is almost complete. Picture by: twitter.com/usbankstadium

The NFL pride themselves with what they do off the field as much as what they do on it. Here are some of the demands made in the document that was seen by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

  • Sixteen months before the game, the NFL will send 180 people to the host city to inspect the region. The host city must cover all the expenses.
  • Exclusive, cost-free use of 35,000 parking spaces for game day parking.
  • The NFL has the "option to install ATMs that accept NFL preferred credit/debit cards in exchange for cash" and to cover up other ATMs.
  • Team hotels must agree to televise the NFL Network for one year leading up to the Super Bowl.
  • If mobile service is too weak at the team hotels (based on the "sole discretion of the NFL"), the Host Committee must install boosters and/or antennas.
  • Full tax exemption from city, state and local taxes for tickets sold to the Super Bowl.
  • The host city must give the NFL the use of at least 20 billboards at no charge.

Away from football-related activities, the NFL also demands the use of other sporting facilities:

  • The NFL requires exclusive access to three area golf courses (for free) so it can host a tournament on Super Bowl weekend.
  • The NFL also requests the use of two “top quality” bowling alleys (also for free) for a bowling tournament the Wednesday before the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl may be the biggest game of the year, but the demands made on the host city are even bigger.

You can see the full document here