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About Super Bowl 43
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL
- Opened: September 20, 1998
- Capacity: 65,000 (can be expanded to accommodate more than 75,000)
- Luxury Suites: 200, in a wide range of sizes, offering the ultimate viewing experience
- Surface: Grass; six-time winner of award for best field in the NFL
- Located in the north end zone of the stadium, Buccaneer Cove encompasses 20,000 square feet and runs the entire length of the end zone concourse
- The centerpiece of Buccaneer Cove is the majestic, 103-foot-long ship, an authentic replica of an early 1800's pirate ship, arguably one of the most recognizable stadium features in the world:
- Ship Length 103'
- Ship Weight 43 tons
- Ship Height 78'
- Bow Detail 9'x7'
- Ship Width 32'
- Swords 16' each
Super Bowl XLIII will be the forty-third edition of the Super Bowl that will feature the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4) and the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals (12-7) to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 season. Of historical note is that this game matches up two franchises that were merged into a single team for the 1944 season, in response to the depleted rosters during World War II. Pittsburgh will be going for its sixth Super Bowl win, which would place it in sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins, while the Cardinals are seeking their first league title since 1947 and only the second undisputed league championship in their history.
The Cardinals, who hold second longest championship drought in sports (sixty one years, with only the Chicago Cubs last winning their championship in 1908) are coached by Ken Whisenhunt, and led on the field offensively by Kurt Warner, who holds a Super Bowl championship ring with the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV with running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin becomes the third head coach of African-American descent to reach professional football's biggest stage, joining Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy who faced off in Super Bowl XLI.
The Steelers won the AFC North with an 12–4 record, and defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional Playoff round and then won the AFC Championship Game against divisional rival the Baltimore Ravens, 23–14 as both games were played at Heinz Field.
Pregame and halftime show
The Super Bowl XLIII halftime show, sponsored by Bridgestone, will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Journey will perform during the pre-game show, and Jennifer Hudson will sing The Star-Spangled Banner in her first public appearance since the tragic murder of her nephew, brother and mother. Hudson becomes the second consecutive alumnus from the American Idol television series to perform the national anthem (Jordin Sparks sang the anthem at Super Bowl XLII).