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How a Super Bowl game ball is made

How a Super Bowl game ball is made

Photo: Associated Press/Rick Osentoski

superbowlball
An official game ball for the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game. The Wilson Sporting Goods football factory in Ada, Ohio has made the official Super Bowl football since the first Super Bowl in 1966. The company began making this year’s game balls on Sunday night, Jan. 24, immediately after the conclusion of the NFC and AFC championship games.

Every NFL game ball is still made in America, mostly by hand. Official game balls for the NFL football Super Bowl XLIX are made at the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio. The company has been the maker of the official NFL game balls since 1941.

The company’s factory, which opened in 1955, and according to Wilson is the only “dedicated football factory in the world.” Employing about 120 people, the factory produces about 700,000 footballs annually, including all NFL games balls, and those for the NCAA and some high school conferences.