This edition will be the third to take place in Houston after VIII in 1974 and XXXVIII in 2004. On 21 May 2013, in meetings held in the city of Boston, the NFL selected the sites for both the Super Bowl 50 and the Super Bowl LI. Previously, on October 16, 2012, the NFL announced that NRG Stadium was one of the finalists to host the Super Bowl LI. Houston competed against the runner-up, the Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, Florida), to host the Super Bowl LI.
The requirement to host this edition depended in part on whether the stadium in question was restored. However, on May 3, the Florida Legislature refused to approve the funding plan to pay for the renovations. Finally, the NFL selected Houston as the host city for Super Bowl LI.
On November 3, 2015, an ordinance against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment, and public services was introduced, among others. Subsequently, the NFL announced that said issue would not alter plans for the city to host the Super Bowl LI.
The owner of the Houston Texans, Bob McNair, donated $ 10,000 to the Campaign for Houston, an organization that opposed the Ordinance for Equal Rights of Houston. Later, the ordinance in question was annulled. McNair has a long history of supporting conservative political causes.
The rejection of Houston to the ordinance led to fears that the LGBT community is not welcome in NFL stadiums and that the city is no longer a safe place for LGBT people to visit or do business because they can be rejected a hotel, a taxi driver or a restaurant simply because they appear to be gay or trans.
Currently, Houston is the largest city in the United States without equal rights for LGBT people. In mid-August 2016, the international press began to speculate the possible candidates to head the halftime show of Super Bowl LI with some of the most frequently mentioned were Adele, Eminem, Taylor Swift and Rihanna.
On 18 September, the magazine Us Weekly confirmed Lady Gaga would be responsible for carrying out the action, but the following day the NFL denied that information but did not rule out the possibility. 5 days later on the 29th of the same month, both the artist and the NFL announced that indeed she who would perform for the show.