ArenaBowl XXV was played at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the first ArenaBowl at a neutral site since 2008. From 2005-2008, the ArenaBowl were hosted at neutral sites (Las Vegas and New Orleans). In 2010 and 2011, the games went to the highest seed in the game, which were Spokane, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona. The last two ArenaBowls at a neutral site (ArenaBowl XXI and ArenaBowl XXII) were also played in New Orleans in 2007 and 2008.
In the previous season, the Rattlers lost ArenaBowl XXIV to the Jacksonville Sharks on the final play of the game. In 2012, they won a tightly contested West division with a 13–5 record for their third consecutive division title. They defeated division rivals San Jose and Utah, respectively, to win the National Conference championship. They returned to the ArenaBowl for the seventh time in their franchise's history, looking for their first league championship since ArenaBowl XI in 1997.
After missing the playoffs in the prior season, the Soul compiled a league-best 15–3 record. They averaged 68.2 points per game, the most by one team in a single season. They beat the New Orleans VooDoo in the conference semifinals, then blew out the defending champion Jacksonville Sharks in the American Conference championship 89–34, the most one-sided victory in AFL postseason history. For Philadelphia, it was their second ArenaBowl appearance in franchise history, and their second in three seasons of play. Their prior ArenaBowl appearance occurred in 2008 when they won ArenaBowl XXII against the San Jose SaberCats 59–56. Following that season, the league suspended operations, and the Soul would not field a team again until 2011.