Be the smartest fan in the room with these fascinating facts from last year’s game where the Atlanta Falcons lost, 7-23, to the New England Patriots.
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1. The City of Houston Is Investing Millions to Host the Big Game
The city of Houston is pulling out all the stops to make sure Super Bowl LI goes off without a hitch. According to NBC News, the price tag to play host to the big game is $5.5 million, which covers increased security and emergency personnel. As the city is funneling tax dollars to ensure safety, there will also be a big boost in tourism dollars. Fans are expected to spend at least $350 million on hotels, entertainment and food and drinks.
2. Super Bowl Quarterbacks Earn Millions to Play
Both quarterbacks playing in Super Bowl 51 are banking millions to hit the field this season. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is currently collecting $20.5 million per year, and Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan is making $20.7 million annually to lead his team.
3. Player Pay Is All Over the Map
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is currently playing under a six-year, $54 million contract, but that’s not the norm for many players who make it to the Super Bowl. For example, some rookies make a league minimum of $450,000. And NFL careers often last just a few years.
4. Super Bowl Winners Receive a Hefty Bonus Check
Each player on the winning team is in line for a sizable bonus check. Last year, each member on the Denver Broncos’ roster received a check for $102,000.
5. But Not as Hefty as It Used to Be
“After Super Bowl I, each player on the winning team, the Green Bay Packers, got $15,000,” said financial advisor Roger Wohlner, of TheChicagoFinancialPlanner.com. When adjusted for inflation, that $15,000 is worth $107,057 in today’s dollars. That means the Broncos’ haul was roughly $10,000 less in inflation-adjusted bonus dollars.
6. Even Super Bowl Losers Are Winners
Even the losers win when it comes to Super Bowl bonus time. Last year’s losers, the Carolina Panthers, received checks for $51,000 each. Not a bad payout for a game they didn’t win.
7. Things Were Better for Super Bowl I Losers
“After Super Bowl I, each player on the losing team, the Kansas City Chiefs, got $7,500,” said Wohlner. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $53,528 in today’s dollars. So the Panthers got roughly $4,000 less per player than the Chiefs did for losing.
8. The Checks for Playoff Games Aren’t Bad
Each player in a conference championship or divisional round game receives a bonus. This year, players received checks for $46,000 for a championship game and $27,000 for divisional round games.
9. Bonuses Are Given for the Wild Card Round
Last year’s bonuses for playing in the wild-card round were $24,000 for the losers and $27,000 for the winners.
10. Headliner Lady Gaga Will Perform Halftime Show for Free
Lady Gaga won’t be paid a dime from the NFL for performing at halftime. Nonpayment seems to be a trend for the headliners of the big game. When Coldplay and Beyoncé performed last year, an NFL spokeswoman said the league doesn’t pay the halftime artists. “We cover expenses and production costs,” she told Forbes.
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11. Performing for Exposure Might Be Worth It
Super Bowl halftime acts have traditionally seen a huge spike in music sales in the week after the big event. Last year, 114.4 million people tuned in for the Super Bowl, according to Sports Illustrated. The Black Eyed Peas saw a 108 percent increase in total purchases in 2011, Madonna’s sales spiked 165 percent in 2012, and The Who saw a spectacular 396 percent rise in sales after their halftime performance in 2010, according to Statista. Gaga released her latest album, “Joanne,” on Oct. 14, 2016, so she might get a big boost in sales after her performance.
12. You’ll Probably Never Forget the Most Watched Halftime Show
Katy Perry and the infamous Left Shark’s halftime show at Super Bowl XLIX drew even more viewers than the game itself: Over 118 million people watched their performance.
13. The NFL Tried to Make Performers Pay to Play
The NFL tried to up the ante on prospective halftime performers. The NFL originally asked performers to contribute a part of their post-Super Bowl tour income back to the league, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The NFL only dropped the concept after artists balked at the idea.
14. The Vince Lombardi Trophy Is Valued at $25,000
The sterling silver Super Bowl trophy — named after legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi — is valued at around $25,000. The trophy — crafted by iconic jewelry designer Tiffany & Co. — is more than 20 inches tall and weighs slightly more than 6.5 pounds.
15. This Year’s Stadium Made History for the NFL
Houston’s NRG Stadium is the first facility in the NFL to have a retractable roof, which has an opening that is 500′ x 385′ and takes seven minutes to open.
16. A 30-Second Commercial Spot Will Cost $5 Million
A 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 51 will cost between $5 million and $5.5 million, according to Fortune. The cost of a 30-second commercial during the big game jumped 75 percent between 2005 and 2014. And you won’t believe what a 30-second ad cost during the first Super Bowl in 1967 — just $42,000.
17. More Than 114 Million Viewers Will See the Ads
Last year, more than 114.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. The presence of such a huge audience explains why advertisers are willing to pony up so much cash for a 30-second commercial.
18. The First Super Bowl Drew Less Than 62,000 Viewers
Only 61,946 viewers tuned in to watch the first Super Bowl game between the NFL (Green Bay Packers) and the AFL (Kansas City Chiefs) in 1967. The score was Green Bay, 35 and Kansas City, 10. The big game aired on both CBS and NBC.
19. A One-Minute Spot Will Cost Even More
A one-minute ad spot during last year’s Super Bowl cost a staggering $9 million. This year’s number is sure to be higher, although numbers have yet to be released. That cost has grown dramatically over the course of the franchise. “A one-minute commercial spot cost between $75,000 and $85,000 in 1967,” said Roger Whitney, a certified financial planner with WWK Wealth Advisors in Fort Worth, Texas.
20. Expensive, One-Minute Ads Still Pay Off
No matter how costly, the one-minute commercial probably makes financial sense for many advertisers. Think about it: Don’t you still remember those Clydesdale and Bud Bowl ads?
21. You Might Not Remember the Most Expensive Ad of All Time
The most expensive ad was Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” spot from 2011, which featured Eminem driving around his hometown. The $12.4 million commercial was well worth the hefty price tag: Not only have Chrysler’s sales improved more than 50 percent in the years since the commercial was released, but the ad has been credited with rebranding and renewing the city.
22. Ad Rates Have Grown Faster Than the Stock Market
“The ad prices have been outpacing the general stock market since 1967,” said Matt Hylland, financial planner and investment advisor for Hylland Capital Management. “Going from $42,000 to $5 million over 49 years amounts to a compounded annual growth rate right at 10.2 percent,” he said.
23. Auto Manufacturers Will Dominate Ad Time
Audi, Honda, Kia Motors, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have all secured ad space during the game. Most of these companies paid for more than just airtime as celebrities will make appearances in many of the spots.
24. Junk Food Companies Will Also Dip Into Deep Pockets
Viewers can also expect ads for Butterfinger, Doritos, Pepsi and Snickers. The Snickers spot will star Adam Driver as his “Star Wars” character Kylo Ren in one of the company’s infamous “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” ads.
25. Surprisingly, So Will Avocados
Avocados From Mexico secured one 30-second ad spot during the first commercial break — for the third year in a row. “The landscape for us still suggested that this was going to be one of the better options for us to get our story out in a quality way, with quality amounts of reach,” said Kevin Hamilton, director of marketing at Avocados From Mexico to Ad Age. In 2014, the Hass Avocado Board estimated that Americans would eat a staggering 120 million pounds of avocados in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Holy guacamole!
26. Technology Firms Will Pay to Play
Technology companies Intel and Wix.com also will show up between plays of the big game. Intel tapped NFL icon Tom Brady to appear in the ad, which showcases the company’s 360-replay technology. In the spot, the New England Patriots’ quarterback even whips up a batch of his legendary “Brady Cakes” pancakes. You have to see it to believe it!
27. Ticket Prices Have Risen More Than 25,000% Since Super Bowl I
Tickets to Super Bowl I at the Los Angeles Coliseum were $12 — and the stadium was far from full, Wohlner said. Currently, more than 500 Super Bowl 51 tickets are on sale at the Ticket Exchange, ranging from $3,733 to $13,804 each.
28. Even the Ticket Stub Carries Value
It’s not uncommon for fans to linger outside of the stadium, hoping to buy used Super Bowl ticket stubs as souvenirs. Stubs from previous games can also be found on eBay.
29. Houston Made Major Improvements to Look Its Best for the Big Game
The city spent $300 million in hotel taxes to improve the east side of downtown, including the construction of a pedestrian-friendly Avenida de las Americas and a new facade for the convention center. The city and county also spent nearly $20 million on road upgrades around NRG Stadium.
30. Super Bowl 51 Is a Huge Plus for Charities in Houston
One of the major perks of hosting the Super Bowl is how much is given to local charities. Touchdown Houston, the Host Committee’s charitable giving program, will be donating $4 million to Houston-area nonprofit organizations.
31. Fans Can Stay Connected While Watching Football
New technology at NRG Stadium will help fans have more access to WiFi. The free WiFi system can handle more than 48,000 users at once. Plus, if you phone runs out of juice, you can get a battery boost at one of 12 NRG-Go stations.
32. Meat-Lovers Are in for a Treat at NRG Stadium
Meat lovers rejoice: Fans will be lining up for jalapeno-cheddar hot dogs with a side of tater-tot casserole at Underbelly in NRG Stadium. That’s not their only meaty option: Fans can also nosh on chicken wings with PB&J sauce at The Hay Merchant.
33. Save Your Money for the Beer
The stadium carries a variety of draft brews that cost just $5 each. Beer connoisseurs can also grab $2.50 canned Bud Light at the Bud Light Plaza before the game.
34. Kids Won’t Break the Bank
Young football fanatics can pick up hot dogs, popcorn, apple slices, juice boxes and more for $2.50 and under at section 115.
35. Those Who Don’t Attend the Game Still Shell Out Big Bucks
American consumers will spend an average of $75 each this year on Super Bowl-related purchases, including food, drinks, team apparel, decorations, and new televisions and furniture, according to the National Retail Federation. Total Super Bowl-related spending is expected to hit $14.1 billion.
36. Super Bowl Party Hosts Pay to Entertain
The average Super Bowl party host paid around $118 for the party alone in 2012, according to the most recent data from Statista. That’s a lot of chicken wings and epic game-day nachos.
37. Plan to Buy a Lot of Beer
If past Super Bowls are any indication, Americans will buy around 50 million cases of beer the weekend of the game. That was the total in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. Drink up.
38. … And Eat a Lot of Pizza
Pizza deliveries saw a 35 percent rise on Super Bowl Sunday in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. You’d better order early!
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39. Expect Your Office to Be Sparse on Monday Morning
More than 16 million workers are expected to call in sick the day after the Super Bowl — and millions more will be late — costing the country about $1 billion in lost productivity. Food company Kraft Heinz has wised up to this fact and is giving all of its salaried employees the day after Super Bowl Sunday off. Look for their big game ad pushing an online petition to make Monday a national holiday, called “Smunday.”
40. The Super Bowl Is a Gambler’s Paradise
More than a $100 million will likely be wagered this year in Nevada’s casinos alone. In 2016, the number totaled more than $132 million, according to Statista.
41. You Can Bet on More Than Just Who Wins the Game
If you’re not emotionally invested in the outcome of the game, you can still get in on the betting action with a prop bet. That’s a wager related to the game, but not tied to the outcome. Last year, fans placed bets on how long the national anthem would last, how many times “dab” or “dabbing” would be said by announcers, and even if Peyton Manning was retiring.
42. A Hotel Room Might Cost More Than Your Monthly Mortgage
The local news affiliate for the Houston area is reporting that costs are soaring at pricey hotels during the Super Bowl. A suite at the Marriott Marquis hotel will cost $10,000 per night, so the 360-degree views of downtown must be worth the price tag.
43. Deluxe Travel Packages Will Cost You, Too — and There’s a Catch
Fans can purchase three-day deluxe packages that include hotel, transportation and VIP access to Super Bowl events starting at $2,015 per person. But beware — these bargains do not include a ticket to the big game.
44. Locals Are Cashing In By Renting Out Their Own Homes
Houstonians are hoping that football fans will forgo hotels to stay at their private homes. Local listings on Airbnb have increased 40 percent in just the last two months, the company said.
45. A Private Luxury Suite at NRG Stadium Will Cost You More Than $300K
To host 10 guests in a luxury box suite, you’ll need to put down at least $116,000, according to the luxury concierge service VIP’s Access. This hefty price tag gets you secure, private access, VIP service and premium food and beverages.
46. After a Brief Break, the NFL Is Back to Using Roman Numerals
Last year was the first time the NFL did not use Roman numerals in the Super Bowl 50’s title. The league started using the symbols to “clarify any confusion that may occur because the NFL Championship Game — the Super Bowl — is played in the year following a chronologically recorded season.” The league resumed using Roman numerals in 2017 for Super Bowl LI.
47. The Super Bowl Footballs Are Carefully Crafted
Each team receives 108 official balls: 54 will be used as game balls for the big game and 54 are for practice.
48. Each Football Gets a Special Stamp of Approval
Each NFL ball is stamped with “The Duke,” the name of the official football. The moniker first appeared on NFL balls in 1969 in honor of Wellington “The Duke” Mara, a co-owner of the New York Giants.
49. Super Bowl 51 Will Make History If It Goes Into Overtime
Although there have been a combined five AFC or NFC Championship games that have gone into overtime, not one Super Bowl game has gone past regulation.
50. Four NFL Teams Have Never Made It to the Super Bowl
The Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans are the only teams that have yet to play in a Super Bowl.
51. The Pittsburgh Steelers Come Out on Top
The Steelers have won the most Super Bowls (six), whereas the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings have the most appearances without winning (four).