Super Bowl 57 is coming to Arizona on Sunday, February 12, 2023. This will be the fourth time the NFL’s showpiece event has taken place in Arizona and the third time it will have been played at Cardinals/University of Phoenix/State Farm Stadium.
It is an honor to be chosen as Super Bowl host. Arizona is a Super Bowl location that everyone involved in the NFL loves. While the weather in February can be brutal in Boston, New York, and Kansas City, Arizona’s climate, the media days and travel from one location to another are more enjoyable for all involved.
For that reason, this is unlikely to be the last Super Bowl held in the 48th state. Before we get to Super Bowl LVII (a reminder to get your tickets and passes here), let’s look back at the three previous games played in the state.
Super Bowl 30 (XXX)
The first Super Bowl in Arizona wasn’t in Glendale, as that stadium wasn’t yet built. Instead, the NFL took Super Bowl 30 to Tempe and Sun Devil Stadium, home of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Consider this a trial run, albeit successful, as the eventual outcome of this Super Bowl was the construction of State Farm Stadium for the state to host more Super Bowls down the line.
The Super Bowl was an important one at the time. It saw the meeting of the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game where a win for either team would see them join the San Francisco 49ers as the team with the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history. There was star power here, too, with Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith driving the Dallas offense and the legendary Bill Cowher prowling the sideline of the Steelers.
The Cowboys were the 27-17 winners on the day as Aikman – a relatively pedestrian 15-of-23 for 209 yards and one touchdown – made fewer mistakes than Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell (three interceptions and QBR of 51.3).
Super Bowl 42 (XLII)
Many fans think Super Bowl 42 is the best season finale in NFL history. It saw Eli Manning and the New York Giants come in as massive underdogs and beat the undefeated New England Patriots 17-14. It is widely seen as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NFL and one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional sports.
The Pats were looking to equal the 1971 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to go through an entire NFL regular season undefeated and go on to win the Super Bowl The Giants ended the regular season with a 10-5 record, a record not even good enough to win their division as they spent their entire playoff run on the road.
The Patriots were up by four with a little over two minutes to go when the Giants began a drive from their own 17-yard line that would change NFL history. This is the game – and the drive – made famous for David Tyree’s helmet catch, where the Giants’ wide receiver pinned a Manning pass to his helmet, falling backward for a 32-yard completion on third down. If Super Bowl 57 has anything like this level of drama, then ti will be epic.
Super Bowl 49 (XLIX)
Tom Brady returned to Glendale for another Super Bowl – something he did on the reg – as his Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in 2015.
This game is remembered for just one play. Seattle – who many forget had blown a third-quarter lead as New England scored 14 straight points – was on the one-yard line and down by just four points with 26 seconds to play. Instead of handing the ball to elite running back Marshawn Lynch, Seattle elected to go for a passing play on second down. Russell Wilson’s pass was picked off in the end zone by Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler, and Pete Carroll will forever fo down as the coach that oversaw thew single worst play call in the history of the Super Bowl.