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How is the Home Team Determined for the Super Bowl?

The AFC and NFC rotate who gets to be the home team in the Super Bowl. The Eagles were designated the home team for the 2023 Super Bowl, so whichever AFC team appears in the 2024 contest will get to be the home team. There isn’t a real advantage in being the home team for the Super Bowl. The home team gets to choose their uniform first while the road team calls the coin toss. 

As I’m not old enough to see my Vikings ever appear in the Super Bowl, I’ve never paid much attention to who the home or road team is in the Super Bowl. The differences are mostly cosmetic, though perhaps the home team gets the chance to select their “lucky” jersey first. 

While the Super Bowl is supposed to take place at a neutral location, what if the host team reaches the championship? Would there be an advantage then? You’ll have to read below to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • The home team for the Super Bowl is determined on a rotational basis with the AFC and NFC taking turns being the “home” team
  • It will be the AFC’s turn to be the home team for the 2024 Super Bowl
  • Two teams, the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have appeared in Super Bowls in their home stadium.

What Difference Is There Between Being the Home and Away Team?

Since the Super Bowl is played at a neutral site, does it really matter whether you’re considered the home or away team?

The biggest aesthetic difference is jersey selection with the home team getting the first choice. In most cases, the home team will go with their “home” uniforms which for most teams is a darker color.

The road team may not get their preferred jersey choice, but they do get to control the coin toss both at the start of regulation and the beginning of overtime if necessary. [1]

This came into play in the 2017 Super Bowl between the Falcons and the Patriots. After blowing a 28-3 lead, the Falcons had a chance at redemption as the home team. All they had to do was win the toss, get the ball, and score a touchdown. But New England won the toss and Atlanta never saw the ball in overtime.

Has a Team Ever Played a Super Bowl in Their Home Stadium

In theory, the Super Bowl is always at a site where neither team has an advantage. But since the game is always played in someone’s home stadium, there’s always the chance that a team gets to play at “home.” It seemed that the Minnesota Vikings would get this opportunity during the 2017 season. They went 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship game with the Super Bowl slated to be played in Minneapolis. But like all Vikings’ seasons, it ended in heartbreak, in this case, a trouncing at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles.

Just a few years later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Designated as the home team, the Bucs trounced the Chiefs 31-9. [2]

It happened again the following year with the Rams beating the Bengals in Los Angeles though in this case the Bengals were considered the “home” team. [3]

Does playing the Super Bowl in your home stadium matter? Despite the 2-0 record, the answer is probably no. Unlike other playoff games, the fans of the home team are not given preferential treatment, so the Buccaneers and Rams didn’t have the advantage of more than 60,000 passionate fans cheering them on throughout the game. Perhaps being more familiar with the stadium’s amenities gives a small advantage, but probably not a sizable one.


Other than a few cosmetic differences, rotating the home and road teams for the Super Bowl doesn’t provide many advantages. Even the rare instances where the host city’s team reaches the championship doesn’t offer much of an edge since so many of the tickets go to people without a strong rooting interest one way or the other. 

Would you change anything about how the home team is determined in the Super Bowl, or are you fine with the yearly rotation? Let us know in the comments below.



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