Ford Field has held some incredible events over the years and is a true landmark of Detroit.

For stadium-packing artists like Metallica, George Strait and The Weeknd, it's an incredible venue for concerts - and it will continue to be such for years to come.

Ford Field is also a great venue for live sports outside of the Detroit Lions. The Michigan Panthers have made it a fun home for spring football while the WWE (okay, sports entertainment) has called it home for WrestleMania and Summer Slam. In fact, there are rumors the city wants WrestleMania back in the Motor City sooner rather than later.

But it is clear that one event will never return to Ford Field—the Super Bowl.

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Detroit has more eyes on it now after the Lions' remarkable 2023 season and the way fans showed up for the 2024 NFL Draft in record fashion. As such, it'd make sense for fans to think Ford Field could host another Super Bowl, but it's just not in the cards.

Super Bowl XL was in 2006, a monumental time for your author as a young Pittsburgh Steelers fan wearing his Jerome Bettis jersey. The Big Game hasn't come back to Detroit since, and it's time we collectively accept that it never will, so long as Ford Field is the Lions' home.

Since Super Bowl XL, the following venues have played host to the Big Game:

  • Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL (Super Bowls XLI, LIV)
  • State Farm Arena, Phoenix, AZ (Super Bowls XLII, XLIX, and LVII)
  • Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL (Super Bowls XLIII, LV)
  • AT&T Stadium, Dallas, TX (Super Bowl XLV)
  • Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (Super Bowl XLVI)
  • Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Super Bowl XCLVII)
  • Met Life Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ (Super Bowl (XLVIII)
  • Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA (Super Bowl 50)
  • NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (Super Bowl LI)
  • U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Super Bowl LII)
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA (Super Bowl LIII)
  • SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA (Super Bowl LVI)
  • Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV (Super Bowl LVII)

The next three Super Bowls, leading up to LXI, have already been announced:

  • Super Bowl LIX at Caesars Superdome
  • Super Bowl LX at Levi's Stadium
  • Super Bowl LXI at SoFi Stadium

That puts a 21-year gap between Ford Field's last time hosting a Super Bowl and its next available chance in 2027. However, that next available chance likely won't be available for long.

Nashville is set to open a new stadium in 2025 for the Tennessee Titans. It's fair to assume that Super Bowl LXII will likely be awarded to this stadium. The Chicago Bears are also getting a new stadium soon, with doors expected to open in 2028. That stadium will definitely get a Super Bowl shortly after it opens - the Second City has never hosted a Super Bowl before.

So we've locked down five of the next at least six Super Bowl locations. You can expect U.S. Bank Stadium to get another one soon, while AT&T Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, and MetLife Stadium will all be due for a second game soon after.

Now we're looking at a potential 30-year gap between Super Bowls for Ford Field, at which point the city should likely be looking at a new stadium anyway to get a realistic bid.

The longest gap we've ever seen a stadium endure for another Super Bowl was NRG Stadium at 13 years between 2004 and 2017, which was likely its last time. NRG could lean on its location and retractable roof - factors that simply aren't in Detroit's favor.

True, having a dome helps Ford Field's chances, but age is a crippling factor with such a gap.

The oldest stadium to host a Super Bowl in the last five years is easily Caesars Superdome. But it's also the most common destination for the game. Frequent renovations and the party scene in New Orleans help their case considerably.

The only other relatively old stadiums that still get to host are Raymond James and Hard Rock. The former is still in incredible shape and has hosted three memorable Super Bowls. The latter is in Miami, a trustworthy host city economically and weather-wise.

But look at the other open-air Florida stadium, EverBank Field - the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like Ford Field, EverBank has not aged as gracefully as a stadium built during the time such as Raymond James. Jacksonville hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXXIX. They aren't getting one again either.

Along with NRG Stadium, Ford Field is the oldest dome stadium in the NFL other than Caesars Superdome, which, again, has been heavily renovated - particularly after the 2005 Katrina hurricane.

The Lions can't leave Ford Field until 2037 at the earliest. There's little reason to believe that the state-of-the-art upgrades needed to host another Super Bowl will come before then. Plus, the average age of an NFL stadium is younger than 20 years, with stalwarts like Caesars, Lambeau Field, Soldier Field and Arrowhead Stadium skewing the average considerably.

This isn't a call to abandon Ford Field when the lease is up, or even to drag the stadium unnecessarily. It's a great venue that I've enjoyed my visits to. But in the land of reality, a Super Bowl is sadly out of the question for Ford Field ever again.

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