Super Bowl Fun Facts

Super Bowl Fun Facts
Lagniappe Sports
Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 1:08pm

Oh, how the Super Bowl has changed in the last XLVII years.

When it began in 1967, it wasn't known as the Super Bowl. The game originally matched the champions of two separate leagues, the NFL and AFL. The first three editions of the game were known as the "AFL-NFL World Championship Game." That would remain the case until the leagues merged in 1970.

More than 110 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl XLVII between San Francisco and Baltimore, proof of the NFL's popularity and media savvy. But when it was first played, the game was broadcast on two networks at one. Since the NFL and AFL were separate leagues, each had its own TV contract. CBS had an agreement with the NFL, and NBC partnered with the AFL. Each had its own announcer teams and production crews. Since then, the rights to the game have rotated among the networks that broadcast NFL games.

The first Super Bowl was much easier to attend than in recent years. Tickets to the first game, held in Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum, started at $6, and rose to $12 for the best seats in the house. Even at those prices, the game drew just 61,946 people, making it the only Super Bowl not to sell out. Tickets for Super Bowl XLVII had a face value of $850, but upper deck seats were listed for more than $2,500 on secondary-market websites.

Since the Super Bowl was not as popular when it began, neither were the commercials that ran during the game. A 30-second spot cost roughly $42,000. By comparison, the average cost of a commercial in this year's telecast was $3.8 million, with the prime spots selling for as much as $4 million.

New Orleans holds the record for most times hosting a Super Bowl (10), but the only city to host the game in consecutive years is Miami. The Orange Bowl was the site of Super Bowls II and III.

The temperature inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be comfortable, but some Super Bowls have forced players to combat the elements, as well as their opponents. New Orleans was also the site of the coldest Super Bowl on record, a 39 degree day at Tulane Stadium in 1972 for Super Bowl VI. (That record may fall in 2014 when the game is played in New Jersey.) Super Bowl XLI was played on a rainy night in Miami. The Indianapolis Colts took advantage of the wet ball, forcing five Chicago turnovers on their way to victory.

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