Houston on elite list of only 15 cities that have hosted the Super Bowl

Houston, Texas, is preparing to host its third Super Bowl this Sunday. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons (and thousands of very lucky fans) have descended upon the city for the big game, which will take place at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

But why is the event in Houston?

SEE ALSO: The 10 most-attended Super Bowls of all time

The host city for each Super Bowl is chosen several years ahead of the actual game, and the NFL reportedly has a lengthy list of requirements that stadiums must fulfill to be selected. Among these requirements, according to Sports Illustrated, are the building's ability to hold at least 70,000 fans, allowing the NFL to install ATMs that favor its preferred cards and, strangely, having at least two "top quality" bowling alleys (and three golf courses) nearby for reservations.

Houston has met these requirements with two different stadiums. The previous Houston games, Super Bowls VIII and XXXVIII, were held in Rice Stadium and Reliant Stadium, respectively. Reliant Stadium was renamed to NRG Stadium in 2014.

While hosting three Super Bowls may seem like a pretty big undertaking, Houston only ranks No. 7 on the list of 15 cities that have hosted the big game:

Within the 15 host cities, a total of 26 different stadiums have been or will be utilized.

Sites for future Super Bowls have already been decided through 2021, with Minneapolis notably hosting the 2018 game in its new U.S. Bank Stadium -- which, of course, has a roof to keep the chilly February air at bay.

This year's AFC Champion New England Patriots were also a part of Houston's last Super Bowl -- they defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII. It remains to be seen if the site will be lucky for the team a second time.