When NFL Europe was founded in 1991 as the World League of American Football (WLAF), with teams in North America and Europe as well as expansion plans for Asia, the name World Bowl was appropriate. It was kept after 1995 when the league limited itself exclusively to Europe. From 1995 to 1997, the World Bowl venue was decided by the standings after 5 weeks of the 10-week season. All venues before, and since, were predetermined before the season. The 2002 World Bowl was hosted in Rhein Fire home town of Düsseldorf as a farewell to the old Rheinstadion. After the new LTU arena was completed, the 2005 World Bowl was hosted there again. It would return in 2006, as a first ever back to back WB site. As Fortuna Düsseldorf spent much of this time in lower tiers of the German soccer pyramid, Düsseldorf was the rare NFL Europe city in which American football held an arguably competitive position. 9 World Bowls were played on Saturday and 6 World Bowls were played on Sunday (1991, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2000).
World Bowl (WLAF, NFL Europe, and NFL Europa Championships)
The former World Football League, a short-lived 1970s competitor to the NFL, was the first to name its championship game the World Bowl. In World Bowl I, the only WFL World Bowl contested, the Birmingham Americans defeated the Florida Blazers 22-21 on December 5, 1974 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game had been scheduled to be played at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, but after the Jacksonville Sharks folded mid season the league decided the team with the better record who host the game.
The proposed World Indoor Football League that was to begin play in 1988 also intended on calling its championship the World Bowl. It would have been played on August 29, 1988. The WIFL, however, disbanded eleven days before its season was to begin.