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5 ridiculous rules required of Super Bowl cities

153-page document outlines requirements for Super Bowl host cities
Super Bowl LVII wrapper around State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Feb. 2, 2023
Posted at 8:23 AM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 08:23:47-05

Sure, it's always super when a city is awarded a Super Bowl, but did you know the NFL has a lengthy list of requirements for locations to be considered a host site for the game?

In 2014, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune obtained a copy of the NFL's "Host City Bid Specifications and Requirements." The 153-page document included much of what was already known — that the game must be played in venues with seating capacities of at least 70,000 (or allow for temporary expanded seating to meet the threshold) and take place in regions where the average temperature over a 10-year period is 50 degrees or warmer (unless granted a waiver or held in a climate-controlled domed stadium) — but it also unveiled some curious head-scratching specificities.

Here are five Super Bowl host site stipulations that seem a bit ridiculous.

Why don't you stay awhile?

Sara Walsh in front of NFL Network microphone before playoff game between Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys, Jan. 16, 2023
NFL Network reporter Sara Walsh stands on the sideline before a wild-card playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, Monday, Jan 16, 2023, in Tampa, Fla.

The NFL requires a minimum number of hotel rooms within a 60-minute driving radius of the stadium, equal to 35% of the listed capacity. But that's not the ridiculous part.

As part of the contract, the selected team hotels must be able to provide the NFL Network for a year prior to the date of the game.

'Money, that's what I want'

Super Bowl LVI merchandise on display inside SoFi Stadium, Feb. 8, 2022
Super Bowl LVI merchandise is displayed inside SoFi Stadium, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.

The NFL has the "option to install ATMs that accept NFL preferred credit/debit cards in exchange for cash" and to cover up all other ATMs. One thing's for certain: the NFL isn't going to be strapped for cash when it's over.

'Be the ball'

San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Laken Tomlinson swings golf club after Pro Bowl practice in 2022
NFC offensive guard Laken Tomlinson of the San Francisco 49ers swings at a golf ball after Pro Bowl practice, Friday, February 4, 2022, in Las Vegas.

The NFL lists the use of three "top quality 18-hole golf courses" and two "top quality" bowling lanes as additional facilities needed at no cost to the league. Fore!

'Stay thirsty, my friends'

Guests attend Super Bowl LII media party, Feb. 2, 2018
Guests attend the Super Bowl LII media party, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Minneapolis.

The NFL requires waivers of any local laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages so that such drinks may be served until at least 4 a.m. after the game at the site of all official league and team postgame parties.

That begs the question, who's driving to and from the game? At least the designated driver won't have to worry about parking. The NFL also requires exclusive, cost-free use of 35,000 parking spaces on game day.

Field of green

piece of sod from Super Bowl 50 in 2016
A piece of sod is shown on the field as workers prepare the field for Super Bowl 50, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Last but certainly not least, the NFL requires a natural grass field to be re-sodded before the game.

The NFL won't pay to have the grass installed or removed unless it decides to sell portions of the field as memorabilia. In that case, the NFL will pick up the tab for the field's removal, but the host location is still required to front the installation bill.