During the regular season, the home team decides 90 minutes before kickoff whether the roof will be open or closed, and an open roof must remain open unless weather conditions get worse.
However, as a neutral site, the NFL controls the option to open or close without any restrictions.
The New York Giants began the season with low expectations after star running back Tiki Barber retired.
The Giants had lost in the NFC Wild Card round in each of the previous two seasons and had not won a playoff game in seven years.
The telecast of the game on Fox broke the then-record for the most watched Super Bowl in history with an average of 97.5 million viewers in the United States.
As always, the league considered several potential host cities before choosing the Phoenix area.
However, this game was later moved to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, when it became clear that the new stadium in New York City would not be built in time for the February 2010 game. Super Bowl XLII was also the second Super Bowl played in a retractable-roof stadium (the first was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston for Super Bowl XXXVIII).
Giants Stadium also lacked a roof, as did both of New York City's baseball stadiums, and the NFL had never played an outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather climate.
The city of New York and the New York Jets failed to secure a deal to build a new West Side Stadium (which, according to the initial plans, would have been built with a roof). area had a relatively new (albeit roofless) stadium in Fed Ex Field.
Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who retired following the victory, had two tackles and one sack.
This game was the first since Super Bowl IX (a 16-6 Steelers win over the Vikings) that neither team scored at least 20 points.