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It's a well known fact that no team whose home stadium is hosting the Super Bowl has ever made it to the Super Bowl. My question is, which team has come the closest? (Closest in this case means how far they got in the playoffs.) Some Wikipedia trawling led me to the 1978 Super Bowl, played in Miami. The Dolphins made the playoffs that year, but they lost in the first round. Has any team ever gotten closer?

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium for Super Bowl LV during the 2020-21 season.

Before that, teams entering the playoffs in a year that its stadium was hosting the Super Bowl were:

  • Super Bowl V (1970-71) in Miami: Dolphins lost first round. (2 games away)
  • Super Bowl XIII (1978-79) in Miami: Dolphins lost first round. (3 games away)
  • Super Bowl XXIX (1994-95) in Miami: Dolphins lost second round (2 games away)
  • Super Bowl XXXIII (1998-99) in Miami: Dolphins lost second round (2 games away)
  • Super Bowl XXXV (2000-01) in Tampa Bay: Buccaneers lost first round (3 games away)
  • Super Bowl XLIX (2014-15) in Arizona: Cardinals lost first round (3 games away)
  • Super Bowl LI (2016-17) in Houston: Texans lost second round (2 games away)
  • Super Bowl LII (2017-18) in Minnesota: Vikings lost NFC championship (1 game away)

If we say that a home Super Bowl would be one that takes place in the same metro area as a team, then two other teams have had a home Super Bowl:

  • Super Bowl XIV (1979-80) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California saw the L.A. Rams lose to Pittsburgh.
  • Super Bowl XIX (1984-85) was at Stanford Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in it San Francisco beat Miami.
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  • edited Jan 4th! haha, I was caught off guard cause I was reminiscing about Minnesota my Dad's (passed away) Favorite team, was the only one to come the closest, it's like the only thing I have never gotten to happen... Come on Brady!! If he pulls this off, dude just retire, doesn't matter how long you can stay in the NFL!! – rezwits Jan 24 at 3:20
  • I'd have used will become not have become, since they haven't played it yet, but nicely timely edit :) – Joe Jan 25 at 3:11
  • @Joe I have to have something productive to do to cope with the Packers devastating loss today. :) – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jan 25 at 3:14
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    Kudos to you for keeping this updated and accurate for the last 6 years. – PopularIsn'tRight Jan 25 at 3:49

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