Super Bowl 2020 is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia on February 5th, and will be the fourth consecutive year that the Super Bowl is played in the United States. This will mark the seventh time that a Super Bowl has been played in the U.S., and the tenth year overall.
The announcement was made by Thomas Dimitroff, president of the Atlanta Falcons. He said, “As a proud Georgian, I am thrilled to welcome the Super Bowl to Atlanta. It’s a testament to Georgia’s rich football tradition and one more reason to show our loyalty to the country every four years during Super Bowl week.”
The announcement came as no surprise after months of heated rumors and a power struggle between the NFL and the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The rival leagues were at each other’s throats as the two sides jockeyed for position. Now, with the introduction of the Super Bowl to the United States, the rivalry between the leagues appears to have been settled.
For years, the NFL and IFAB have been feuding over which league would get to call the Super Bowl, and which one would control the stadium, and whether the Super Bowl should be played outside of the United States. The NFL has always preferred the IFAB’s method of bidding for the games. However, the IFAB was on its way to becoming the dominant body when a few small “improvements” were made to the IFAB’s rule book.
One improvement was a rule stating that teams that were going to hold their championship game in the United States could choose to be crowned champions in any of the three major international sports that they wanted. The Super Bowl would be awarded to the “World Champion.” But that rule change was quickly canceled and the Super Bowl remained the only game that could be awarded to the world champion.
Anotherchange was a rule that allowed the Super Bowl to be held in any country in the world. But for many years, the Super Bowl was held in the United States only. So this rule did not help the IFAB.
A third and final rule change that came into play when the NFL was considering holding its next Super Bowl in China was the one that required all contracts are signed before the IFAB could award the games. This may have been a response to the negotiations that took place before the first Super Bowl was played. However, the rule change did not help the IFAB in its negotiations with the NFL.
No matter how well-meaning the IFAB, it was never going to control the sports entertainment industry as long as there were the leagues fighting each other for the ability to call the games. Therefore, the Super Bowl remains one of the most popular events of the year for those that are watching the games, but also for those that work to call the games and oversee the events themselves. So the Super Bowl remains the favorite of those who are paid to make those games happen.