Atlanta Is Hosting The Super Bowl. What Has That Looked Like Before?
Atlanta has a reputation for hosting big events, but there’s no bigger event — at least when American sports are concerned — than the National Football League’s annual championship game, the Super Bowl. And the 53rd edition will be played right here on Feb. 3, 2019.
The city has hosted the game twice before, but this will be the first time it will be played at the new home of the Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Two previous games, Super Bowl XXVIII and XXXIV, were played at the now-demolished Georgia Dome.
As in the case of the two previous games there will be thousands of visitors to the city in February, and with that comes a financial gain (to the city, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, local businesses, hotels) and logistical losses in regards to traffic — both vehicular and foot.
There’s a good chance Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech and Morehouse College men’s and women’s basketball programs will be off during the entire weekend to better ease the already busy event calendar throughout that week.
The amount of media expected for Super Bowl 53 should exceed the record 5,800 credentialed members that were on hand for Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a maximum capacity of 75,000 and is expected to break Atlanta’s previous Super Bowl capacity records. We don’t know the details of this year’s Super Bowl – like who’s playing and who’s performing – but we do know what came before.
Super Bowl XXVIII (28)
When: January 30, 1994; Georgia Dome
National Anthem Performed by: Natalie Cole
Halftime Performer(s): The Judds, Clint Black, Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker
Summary: The 28th Super Bowl featured the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. The game was an end of an era and the beginning of an era as well with the Cowboys ending the four-year consecutive run of Super Bowl appearfances for the Bills, the franchise would fail to make another championship game again, while also being the first Super Bowl in Atlanta.
Fun Fact: The National Football League owners voted Atlanta the site of the 28th Super Bowl in the same year, 1990, that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the city the 1996 Summer Games. Both events forever changed Atlanta as an international site for both sports and entertainment.
How were the Falcons that season: The Atlanta Falcons under head coach June Jones, currently the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League, finished the 1994 season with a 7-9 overall record and missed the playoffs.
Super Bowl XXXIV (34)
When: January 30, 2000; Georgia Dome
National Anthem Performed by: Faith Hill
Halftime Performer(s): Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Alan Page and Jan Stenard
Summary: The game between the St. Louis Rams, nicknamed the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ for their offensive potential and the Tennessee Titans, maiden Super Bowl voyages for both franchises, ultimately came down to a game-saving tackle by Rams linebacker Mike Jones on the one-yard line. The late Steve McNair’s pass to Titans receiver Kevin Dyson was a 10-yard slant route that ended up being a nine-yard completion and the last play of the game.
Fun Fact: The Falcons have played in the Super Bowl twice in the franchise’s history, both times allowing 34 points during their two losses to Denver and New England.
How were the Falcons that season: The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2000 season with a 4-12 record. Head coach Dan Reeves, who was the NFC coach of the year two seasons prior, and the Falcons played and lost Super Bowl 33 to the Denver Broncos in 1998 after having a 14-2 regular season record.