Super Bowl

The History of Super Bowls in Los Angeles

The Super Bowl returns to L.A. for the eighth time

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The Super Bowl is back in the City of Angels.

The Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals will convene at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., just outside of Los Angeles, for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13. It marks the eighth Super Bowl all-time in L.A. and the first in 29 years.

A lot has changed since Super Bowl I was played in 1967, especially between the NFL and Los Angeles. The city had one NFL team back then, lost said team and currently has two franchises. The Chargers made the move from San Diego to L.A., while the Rams went from L.A. to St. Louis and back to L.A.

Now, the Chargers and Rams both call SoFi Stadium home. The venue opened up in 2020, but it did not get a chance to open its doors to fans until this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Super Bowl LVI will be just the third playoff game ever played there, with the Rams beating the Arizona Cardinals in this year’s wild card round before taking down the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship.

Part of the appeal of Los Angeles as a Super Bowl host city is its famed weather, but that likely won’t play a factor in this year’s game. SoFi Stadium has a roof, though openings in the upper deck are susceptible to wind. League officials even delayed the start of a game between the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders this season due to lightning in the area.

Before the Bengals and Rams take the field at SoFi Stadium, let’s take a trip down memory lane -- or the Hollywood Walk of Fame -- and look back on the seven previous Super Bowls that were played in L.A.

Super Bowl I: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

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The location for the first Super Bowl was announced less than seven weeks before the game actually took place. NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle made the announcement on Dec. 1, 1966, and the date of the game wasn't set in stone until Dec. 13.

On Jan. 15, 1967, the NFL champion Green Bay Packers and AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs convened at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for what is now known as Super Bowl I. Just under 62,000 people attended the game on the 72-degree day.

Vince Lombardi's Packers entered the game as 14-point favorites and came away with a 35-10 victory. Bart Starr was named the game's MVP after finishing 16-for-23 passing for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Super Bowl VII: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The 1972 Miami Dolphins' quest for perfection was completed at the Coliseum on Jan. 14, 1973.

It was announced on March 21, 1972, that Super Bowl for the ensuing NFL season would return to L.A. This time, it was a bit warmer at 64 degrees and over 90,000 spectators packed the stadium to watch history in the making.

Don Shula's Dolphins went undefeated during the regular season, but they had to get past a formidable Washington team coached by George Allen in Super Bowl VII to finish with a perfect record. Miami achieved that, beating Washington 14-7 behind touchdowns from Howard Twilley and Jim Kiick and an MVP performance from safety Jake Scott. Washington's only score came in the fourth quarter in one of the most head-scratching plays in Super Bowl history. 

Super Bowl XI: Rose Bowl

The next L.A. Super Bowl took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The venue was awarded the game at the 1975 NFL owners meetings, and Super Bowl XI was played on Jan. 9, 1977, just eight days after USC beat Michigan in the 1977 Rose Bowl.

The stadium's capacity was one of the biggest factors in drawing the Super Bowl, and it paid off as over 103,000 people showed up to watch the Oakland Raiders face the Minnesota Vikings on a mild 58-degree day. The late John Madden was famously hoisted onto his players' shoulders after the Raiders earned a 32-14 victory. Fred Biletnikoff was named the game's MVP for picking up 79 receiving yards on four catches.

Super Bowl XIV: Rose Bowl

It took just three years for the Super Bowl to return to the Rose Bowl. 

Super Bowl XIV took place on Jan. 20, 1980, so there was a bit more time to prepare following the Rose Bowl. It featured more classic L.A. weather, sunny and 67 degrees. Even more fans showed up this time to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers face the hometown Rams, with the 103,985 spectators still holding up as a Super Bowl record.

Pittsburgh pulled off its second straight Super Bowl victory, beating L.A. by a final of 31-19. Terry Bradshaw also earned his second straight Super Bowl MVP with a two-touchdown performance.

Super Bowl XVII: Rose Bowl

There was another three-year gap before the Super Bowl was back at the Rose Bowl again, and it played host to a familiar showdown.

Washington and Miami were matched up for Super Bowl XVII on Jan. 30, 1983, just over 10 years since they met in Super Bowl VII. While the weather was similar (61 degrees), the venue switched -- and so did the circumstances. Washington entered the game with one loss on the year and Miami came in with three.

The Dolphins were dealt their fourth loss of the campaign as Washington got its revenge with a 27-17 win. The Washington defense made life miserable for Dolphins QB Dave Woodley, who completed just four of 14 passes. Joe Theismann tossed two touchdown passes for Washington and running back John Riggins tallied 166 rushing yards and a score on his way to Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl XXI: Rose Bowl

Four years went by following Super Bowl XVII before the New York Giants and Denver Broncos squared off in Super Bowl XXI on Jan. 25, 1987. 

The game was played in front of 101,063 fans on a gorgeous, 76-degree day in Pasadena. The actual play on the field was not nearly as picturesque, at least for John Elway and the Broncos.

Denver held a 10-7 lead after the first quarter, but New York then rattled off 26 unanswered points. Phil Simms finished the day with three touchdown passes and Super Bowl MVP honors as the Giants cruised to a 39-20 victory.

Super Bowl XXVII: Rose Bowl

The most recent Super Bowl to take place in L.A. came 29 years ago, and it was one to forget for Buffalo Bills fans.

Over 98,000 people came to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 31, 1993, to watch the Bills face the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII. It was Buffalo’s third straight trip to the Super Bowl, and it became their third straight Super Bowl defeat.

The Dallas offense shined on the 61-degree day, with Troy Aikman tossing four touchdowns on his way to winning Super Bowl MVP. The game wasn’t close in the second half and the Cowboys piled it on by out-scoring the Bills 21-0 in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 52-17. The rout could have been even greater if Leon Lett waited a second or two longer to celebrate on his infamous run to the end zone.

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