The reality is that it’s not just the game itself that they’re thinking about when they pick the SB site, but a whole week’s worth of festivities. Climate is important for partying. They are also related questions of which cities have the most hotel rooms, convention space, the best nightclubs, the highest quality blow and the best looking strippers and hookers. That’s why touristy party towns like New Orleans, Miami, LA and San Diego get the SB most of the time.
Holden mentioned Tulane stadium in his post. I’d never heard of that ground until recently so I’d thought I’d flesh out a bit of history of this now-forgotten, but once famous stadium.
Tulane Stadium was built on Tulane University's campus next to downtown New Orleans. It was opened in 1926 with a seating capacity of roughly 35,000. Tulane University (“the Green Wave”) is private university dubbed one of the “Southern Ivies”. Tulane was a charter member of the powerhouse SEC but left that conference in 1966 after years of poor campaigns (and long losing streaks to in-state rival LSU). They are now a member of the mid-major Conference USA.
The first Sugar Bowl was played in 1935 at Tulane Stadium (Tulane vs Temple University) – how times change, Temple have also fallen from the elite levels of college football. Since the institution of the annual Sugar Bowl game, Tulane Stadium itself was often informally referred to as "the Sugar Bowl". It was also billed as "The Queen of Southern Stadiums".
The original 1926 structure was mostly of brick and concrete. The stadium was eventually expanded to seat up to 80,985 fans. The additional seating sections were metal. Lights were installed in 1957.
In addition to hosting Tulane University football games and the Sugar Bowl, the stadium was also home to the National Football League's New Orleans Saints from 1967 through 1974. It was also the site of Super Bowl IV (1970), Super Bowl VI (1972) and Super Bowl IX (1975). Super Bowl IX was the last professional league game ever played at the stadium. The Saints, Tulane football and the Sugar Bowl all moved to the Louisiana Superdome for the 1975-6 season.
In 1975, the day the new Superdome was opened, Tulane Stadium was condemned. Upon appeal by the University, the older concrete and brick section was deemed fit to use, but not the newer metal seating section. The stadium then continued in more limited use for five years with the smaller seating area, used for football practice, high-school games, and other smaller events. Tulane Stadium was demolished in 1980.
Other early Super Bowl sites (college stadiums).
LA Colliseum (Super Bowls I and VII) – Home of the University of Southern California, perpetual champions of the Pacific 10 conference. The stadium is in the NCAA stadiums thread in World Stadiums. Super Bowls
Orange Bowl (Super Bowls II, III, V, X and XIII) – Home of the University of Miami of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the original home of the Orange Bowl game (now played at Dolphins Stadium). No major changes to its structure since it was first built. The stadium has a capacity of 72,000.
Rice Stadium (Super Bowl VIII) – Home of Rice University (Houston, TX). Like Tulane this school once had a famous football team, but now lie in mid-major obscurity. The only real difference is that their stadium still stands. Capacity 70,000
Rose Bowl (Super Bowls XI, XIV, XXI and XXVII) – Home of the Rose Bowl game and UCLA football. The stadium is in the NCAA stadiums thread in World Stadiums
Stanford Stadium (Super Bowl XIX) – Home of Stanford University of the Pac-10 (in the San Francisco Bay area between SF and San Jose. This on-campus stadium was demolished last year and re-built in situ at a cost of US$90m (see, you can buy a decent quality stadium for a good price if you don’t want any bubble wrapping).
1921 – 2005 (capacity 85,000)
2006 - (capacity 50,000)