February is here and that means the time has come for the grand finale of the NFL season – the Super Bowl. After 17 grueling weeks and a month of hard fought playoffs,  a new champion will be crowned. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the most-watched televised sporting event in America. This year the big game will be held in Houston, Texas, but for many it will really be held in the living room.

For the lucky few that escape winter and make the long trip to Texas, the price for admission to the game will run from roughly $4,500 in the elevated level to upwards of $20,000 for seats on the 50-yard line. This is, of course, without the cost for air fare, food, or lodging. Everything told it promised to be a pricey event. However, if one does plunk down the dough to go there will be no shortage of entertainment to take in.

The city of Houston’s Super Bowl planning committee has set up an entire week of interactive games, family events, and concerts leading up to the 5th. The city has opened an audition process for local artists to get on the stage and entertain the million plus visitors that are predicted to come into town. Many of the events will take place throughout the city, with the main stage events taking place in the area directly surrounding NRG stadium.

For those staying home to watch the game, you are in vast company. Every year the Super Bowl is consistently the highest-rated television broadcast in the United States. Last year, nearly 112 million people watched collectively. Though many enjoy the sport, the commercials also share the stage as a main draw. This year we can expect more hilarious and touching adverts from many of the regular suspects such as Budweiser, Mountain Dew, and Snickers. There is a lot of buzz surrounding an effort by web hosting and design form WIX, who are doing a follow up to their last years hit featuring Kung Fu Panda. Skittles, BMW, Victoria’s Secret, Mexican Avocados, GNC, and Kia all also have featured ads during the game.

With all the talk and expectation surrounding Super Bowl LI one cannot help but dream of what is to come in 2018 when once again Minneapolis will become host for the Super Bowl. Before US Bank stadium was finished, the NFL agreed to let Minneapolis host in 2018. The welcoming committee was formed shortly after and has feverishly begun planning our fine city’s big day. The committee is focused on local business involvement and offers a wide variety of way for local business to partner with NFL. They are also offering a plethora of volunteer opportunities to the local community as well. The most recent economic impact studies show that this game could bring between $380 and $400 million dollars to the Twin Cities area – in addition to many folks who would never normally venture this far north in February.

All things considered even if you didn’t get your ticket to the big game you won’t be the only one. Follow the in the footsteps of your fellow Minnesotans and make a big pot of chili, get a great group of friends, possibly multiple blankets, and dig into the couch for an evening of gridiron competition and great commercials. After all, the Super Bowl only comes once a year.


by Sam Stinogel