Michigan Wolverines vs Virginia Tech Hokies
Jan. 3, 2012 | 8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Year Opened: 1975 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome hosted its first Sugar Bowl in 1975, when Alabama defeated Penn State 13-6. Opened in 1975 as the Louisiana Superdome, it is home to the New Orleans Saints and Tulane Green Wave. After more than three decades without corporate naming rights, Mercedes-Benz gained naming rights in 2011. Saints owner Tom Benson also owns Mercedes-Benz dealerships. The stadium hosts the BCS National Championship Game every four years. The national title game is played in addition to the annual Sugar Bowl featuring the Southeastern Conference champion -- unless the SEC team is set to play in the BCS National Championship Game, at which point another BCS-qualified team can be invited to the Sugar Bowl. The Superdome will host its seventh Super Bowl in 2013. In addition to staging football, basketball and concerts, the Superdome was the site of two famous boxing matches. Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks in 1978 in Ali's last victory and Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Roberto Duran in the "No Mas" fight in 1980. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and through its contract with the Saints, the Superdome has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades, including the installation of new turf and lighting, updated concessions and the completion of Champions Square as a pedestrian mall.
The Sugar Bowl sprang out of an idea for a midwinter sports festival as early as 1927, but not until 1934 was the idea to host the game finalized. The inaugural game was played Jan. 1, 1935, at Tulane, on the site of an old sugar plantation. The game has long featured the champion of the Southeastern Conference.
When you think of the Sugar Bowl, football is the first thing that comes to mind. But the big event also has been host to the Sugar Bowl Regatta since 1934. The Regatta has featured several Olympians, and is anchored by its main event, the Race of Champions. The Race of Champions trophy has become prestigious in American sailing.
Santa Clara won back-to-back Sugar Bowls, starting in 1937, and defeated LSU both times.
In 1942, Fordham earned a 2-0 victory over Missouri in a field drenched by precipitation. So much rain fell that "tarpon were leaping in the end zone," according to a newspaper report of the day.
Coaching legends Paul "Bear" Bryant and Woody Hayes met for the only time in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, as Bryant's Alabama squad routed Ohio State 35-6.
The 2006 Sugar Bowl was moved to the Georgia Dome after the Superdome was damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Sources: Sugar Bowl, Superdome
- The policy for children's tickets depends on the events, but in general, children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket of their own. Cameras, video recorders, audio recorders, poles, helium balloons, cans, bottles, cooler, laser pointers, fireworks, food, beverages, weapons and pets are not allowed to be brought into the Superdome.
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