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VERIFY: Has a team ever played a Super Bowl game at their home stadium before?

Spoiler alert: The Bucs are the first to play in a home stadium, but not the first to play in their hometown.

WASHINGTON — Super Bowl 55 is already making history thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But it's also making history for a new reason -- one involving home teams and the stadiums they get to play in.

The Verify team is here to bring you all the answers before the big game. Like this one that's popped up on social media:


Is Tampa Bay really the first team to play at a home stadium during a Super Bowl?  


Yes. There have been other teams who have played in hometowns, but none have played in their designated home stadium before the Buccaneers.



Even though Super Bowl 55 already looks a bit different thanks to pandemic restrictions, many fans on social media were quick to notice that it's also different for a whole seperate reason:

The Verify team went straight to the NFL to go back and see if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are really the first team to play at their home stadium. And we can Verify that yes, the Bucs will be the first team in NFL history to play the big game at their own stadium.

The AFC and NFC swap who is the designated home team each year in an effort to make sure that the Super Bowl game itself is on neutral ground -- meaning that whoever hosted the game last year, the other would get to host in the following year. 

This year, however, the Bucs are the home team in both ways -- it was their turn in the rotation being in the NFC since the AFC hosted last year, and also because it happens to be held at their home field at Raymond James Stadium.

Credit: AP
A man passes signage for Super Bowl 55 as he runs along the Hillsborough River on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The city is hosting Sunday's Super Bowl football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

While Tampa Bay will be the first team to host and play the Super Bowl game on Sunday, they aren't the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home town. According to league records and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you're going to have to throw it back to the 80s for that answer.

In 1985, the San Francisco 49ers played their Super Bowl Game at Stanford Stadium. While the stadium was nearby, it wasn't technically their home stadium, which at the time was Candlestick Park.

And in 1980, the Los Angeles Rams played at the Rose Bowl, which was a few miles away from their home stadium. They ended up losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

We'll have to see if the Chiefs or Buccaneers will win the 2021 Super Bowl, which airs on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. 

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