15 Ridiculous NFL Requirements for Cities Hosting the Super Bowl

Updated: Feb. 15, 2024

Want your city to host a Super Bowl? This is what it takes, according to an NFL document.

The Super Bowl comes around every year, and while your focus is on making the best appetizers for your party, the city hosting the two best teams is making sure that every requirement is met to keep the National Football League happy. In 2013, a newspaper reporter uncovered the NFL’s Host City Specifications and Requirements, a confidential 153-page list of the league’s demands for any city bidding to host an upcoming Super Bowl. While the list is outdated, and there have been no new leaks to prove the NFL still requires these things, it was once a list of legitimate demands and some of them are too good not to share. You’ll also want to read up on these crazy Super Bowl facts you probably don’t know about.

Here are some of the most ridiculous requirements on the list:

Tee time: The league requires exclusive access to three top quality, 18-hole area golf courses (at no cost) so it can host a tournament on Super Bowl weekend.

Bowled over: The NFL also requests the use of two “top quality” bowling alleys (at no cost) for a bowling tournament the Wednesday and/or Thursday before the Super Bowl.

A crazy junket: Sixteen months before the game, the NFL will send 180 people to the host city for a “familiarization trip” to inspect the region. The host city must cover all the expenses.

Free housing: The host city must provide 40 three-bedroom, 50 two-bedroom, and 20 one-bedroom apartments for 30-40 day stays for working staff such as production and security. The apartments must be within a 20-minute drive to the stadium and have amenities such as Wi-Fi, full kitchens, washer and dryer facilities, televisions in the bedrooms, and a work-out facility on the property.

Hotel for the team: The NFL requires a hotel with a minimum of 1,000 rooms for their use with free items such as beer, snacks, Internet, meeting space, free parking, and storage space.

Show me the money: The NFL must be allowed to install ATMs in the stadium that accept “preferred” credit and debit cards. The league may also cover up or remove ATMs belonging to other banks if they wish to do so.

Can you hear me now?: If cell phone signal strength at the team hotels is too weak, the host committee must install boosters or erect portable cell towers. If watching the Super Bowl isn’t really your thing, here are some other activities you can do on the Sunday of the game.

Hotel makeover: Hotels, where the players stay, must carry the NFL network on their cable TV systems for a year prior to the Super Bowl.

Hello, publicity: The host city must give the NFL the use of at least 20 billboards at no charge.

Counterfeit committee: The city must cover the expense of providing the NFL with a task force devoted strictly to busting game-ticket counterfeiters.

Police patrol: Police escorts need to be provided to move the teams, media, and game officials, to and from the airport, practice facilities, and game at no cost.

Premium parking: On game day, the NFL gets access to 35,000 parking spots near the stadium at no cost.

Snow way: In the event of a snow or ice storm on game day, the city must give priority to the NFL “over all other ice and snow removal projects” (except in the case of threats to public safety).

Clean zone code: The host city has to create a “clean zone” in a one-mile radius around the stadium where certain activities are restricted about a week before the game until the Monday or Tuesday after. This basically means that no one can do anything the NFL doesn’t approve of in the “clean zone.”

The ultimate souvenir: After the game, the host city must remove the playing field at its own expense, and, if the league requests it, give those pieces of green back to the NFL so it can sell them as “licensed products.” If you think these rules are ridiculous, check out the dumbest laws in every state.