American football’s NFL has confirmed that the 2026 edition of its showpiece Super Bowl will be staged at Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers.
The announcement was made yesterday (May 22) at the NFL spring league meeting in Minneapolis.
Super Bowl LX will be played exactly 10 years after Levi's Stadium hosted Super Bowl 50 in 2016 and will be the second played in the stadium since opening in 2014. According to an independent study, Super Bowl 50 generated almost $250 million for the Bay Area economy.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said: "The Bay Area was an incredible host for Super Bowl 50, and we are thrilled to bring the Super Bowl back. We look forward to working with the 49ers and the Bay Area Host Committee to create an impactful Super Bowl LX in 2026 that showcases all the great things the region has to offer."
Levi’s Stadium replaced Candlestick Park as the 49ers' home in 2014 and has an expanded capacity of about 75,000 for major events. During the league’s March meetings in Phoenix, the franchise requested a $120-million loan from the NFL’s stadium fund to improve facilities in the stadium.
The team’s owners said the money would be used to upgrade premium seating and scoreboards to bolster its position in securing future Super Bowls and ready the stadium to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium was chosen as one of the 11 NFL venues in the US to host matches for the flagship national teams soccer tournament, which is being co-hosted with Canada and Mexico.
Next year's Super Bowl will be played at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, while the New Orleans Saints’ Caesars Superdome will host the league’s flagship season-ending event in 2025.
The NFL also announced the 2025 draft will take place in Green Bay. The event will be held at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.
In other developments from the meeting, NFL owners approved a flexible scheduling policy for Thursday night games on the Amazon Prime Video streaming platform.
This will be in place for weeks 13 to 17 only and with at least 28 days' notice given to the affected teams.
The league will have the power to move a Thursday night matchup to Sunday afternoon if there’s a more desirable game, a method currently in place for Sunday night and Monday night games.
In addition, no team would be required to play more than twice on Thursday night in a season. The rule is presently just for the 2023 season.
Any game during weeks 13 to 17 could be selected for the move to Thursday night, but the league said the bar for such a shuffle would be high.
Hans Schroeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media, said: “We’re incredibly judicious and incredibly sensitive to flexing a game and all the dynamics that go into that.
“We’re also trying to balance how we get the best games in the best windows for our fans.”