Super Bowl: The Big Game

New York City is literally the city that never sleeps and always brimming with tourists and locals alike, so I'm interested to see how this year's Super Bowl will play out in the Big Apple. According to an economic impact study conducted by the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, the XLVIII Super Bowl and celebratory events that surround it are expected to draw 400,000 visitors and bring in $500 - $600 million in revenue to the New York and New Jersey region.  In comparison, the NYC Economic Development Corp found the impact of New York Fashion Week, in both February and September of 2012, was $865 million.

 Big game, means Big Money.  But not without Big Time Planning. 

Truth be told, I haven't much followed the playoff NFL games this year.  Once the Ravens were eliminated, I felt as if the season had ended and I haven't watched an entire game since the play-offs started.  While I'm saddened that the team's season ended earlier than last year, I'm not complaining since we are World Champions and winner's of the 2013 Superbowl! And what a game it was!

Played in New Orleans, the Ravens came out strong and commanded a lead.  Then the lights went out and the game was close until the last play.  But the Ravens pulled it out and I was thrilled that we could be there to witness the win in person.  Our family and friends made the trip to New Orleans to watch the Ravens and had a spectacular time.  We stayed downtown and other than a few of the parties, could walk everywhere, including the stadium for the tailgate, festivities and game. It was easy.  It was manageable.  It was doable. This year is different.

I jokingly said to my mom "I'm not sure that if I were given tickets, I would go to the Super Bowl this year."  While said in jest, I was 95% serious. This is the first open-air stadium in a cold-weather region to host a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl committee has security on lock down, calling in 4000 police, 700 troopers and has the FBI and other governmental agencies on watch.  Attendees of the games should expect airport-like security and long lines.  In case of a snowstorm, which the Farmers Almanac is predicting to hit February 1-3 in the Meadowlands, 900 plows are on call and waiting.  The stadium will be on lock-down one week out of the game and officials are ready for any event, having been to the last four Super Bowl games to learn what has worked.

Fashion bags? Forget about it.  Just like the regular season games, attendees are permitted one 4.5 x 6.5 inch clutch,  a clear gallon sized zip-up freezer bag OR a clear plastic PVC/vinyl tote, no larger than 12 x 6 x 12 to hold your belongings.  Everything from pat downs to radiation detecting sensors are to be expected.  High-heels? Not the best idea. Even VIP's will have to walk, as no parking is permitted and attendees are encouraged to take public transportation. 

Aside from the game, NYC will play host to a myriad of events, industry parties, sponsor VIP's and product and advertising launches, the first of which took place on Wednesday night, when Bloomingdale's unveiled 48 one-of-a-kind football helmets designed by members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The helmets will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the NFL Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football.  All helmets will start with an opening bid of $248 and the auction will run through February 4. (More information on the helmet auction through the CFDA)

One of the massive changes going on inside the city of Manhattan begins on January 29, when the National Football League and NYC & Co. will take over Broadway between 34th and 47th Streets for a four-day festival.  Not unlike one massive party in midtown, the event will feature music, food, television broadcasts, an interactive fan experience, NFL sponsor activations, and NFL player autograph signings and appearances.  While the event is free to attend, the public must register for tickets in advance.

Under Armour will hold several events, including a motion technique footwear zone where fans can simulate catching a punt from an NFL kicker and also host a press event at the Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal to unveil its new commercials and speed-skating and bobsled suits for the Olympics. VH1 will host six concerts, one in each borough and another in New Jersey, featuring acts including Gavin DeGraw, Fall Out Boy and the Goo Goo Dolls.

While there won't be a shortage of things to see, events to attend or official merchandise to purchase, this year's Super Bowl will be an unprecedented event.  So, if you're going to the game, dress warm, be prepared and have fun.  If you're like me, and plan to watch from the comforts of home, check back for Super Bowl party planning and healthful food tips.