Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA – February 3rd, 2019
Which team will receive the Lombardi Trophy for the 2018 season?
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Shuttle to and from the hotel to the stadium.
For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL successfully fended off several rival leagues. However, in 1960, it encountered its most serious competitor when the American Football League (AFL) was formed. The AFL vied heavily with the NFL for both players and fans, but by the middle of the decade, the strain of competition led to serious merger talks between the two leagues. Prior to the 1966 season, the NFL and AFL reached a merger agreement that was to take effect for the 1970 season. As part of the merger, the champions of the two leagues agreed to meet in a world championship game for professional American football until the merger was effected.
After the NFL’s Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with their NFL counterparts, though that perception changed when the AFL’s New York Jets defeated the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. One year later, the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans, which was the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game played before the merger. Beginning with the 1970 season, the NFL realigned into two conferences; the former AFL teams plus three NFL teams (the Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns) would constitute the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining NFL clubs would form the National Football Conference (NFC). The champions of the two conferences would play each other in the Super Bowl.
The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and three of the five preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following Lombardi’s death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The first trophy awarded under the new name was presented to the Baltimore Colts following their win in Super Bowl V in Miami.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multi-purpose retractable roof stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia. The home of the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer, it replaced the now-demolished Georgia Dome, the Falcons’ home stadium from 1992 through 2016. Mercedes-Benz stadium holds the record of the world’s largest halo board and is one of few American football stadiums with retractable roofs, and one of five in the NFL that has such a roof.
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