I was fortunate enough to go to the Super Bowl last week. It was an amazing experience. If you are looking to go to the Super Bowl in the future, I have some advice. First, wait a few days after the two teams are decided to purchase tickets. You will figure out in those few days whether the prices will rise or fall and if they are selling fast or not. You can get packages with your ticket, so pay attention to which one works best for you. We didn’t really research that part and could may have found something more to our liking. I HIGHLY suggest a parking plan. If you live near the stadium and have your own car, I would purchase parking. We tried to take a ride share to the event and the driver cancelled even though we scheduled ahead of time. We tried again and they cancelled again and then the nearest driver was 25 minutes away and probably would have cancelled as well. If you are traveling to the event, perhaps think of hiring a car or plan out a place to walk from the stadium that you could request a ride share.
I don’t have a lot of knowledge of different stadiums, but I would suggest (unlike us) you map out how to get to your seats before you get there. We thought it would be easy, but they closed one section of the stadium for the half time show so you had to walk around most of the stadium to get to certain sections and the uppermost sections did not connect either, so we did a lot of walking! The prices for food and drink were what you would expect for any sports event. The “premium” beer was $14, but at least it is a tall can! Water was $5 and they take off the lid, which is annoying, but understandable.
I knew that our seats were high up in the stands, so I made sure to bring binoculars (they were allowed, but had to be small). They were very helpful during the game. I was also able to look around the crowds to see different celebrities and commentators. (Most are in boxes, so it is mostly people put on tv that you can find.) The best part of the National Anthem was having the bombers fly over us. All three in formation right above our heads to end the song was an unreal feeling. It was one of the highlights of the night.
The halftime show was difficult for us to watch because we were seated on the side of the stage. We mostly watched the screens. However, the lights in the stadium that they provided people to wear and were placed on the cardboard cutout made the concert a visual masterpiece. I watched it on tv later and you could not see the same thing that we saw inside. I’m happy that we got that extra piece to make it more special. I thought The Weeknd did an amazing job. He was very obviously singing live and he put a lot of different visuals out there for the audience. I forgot how many of his songs that I knew and enjoyed and I still find myself singing them a week later.
The best part about going to the actual Super Bowl was being there to root for a team that I have watched the entire season. It was doubly impressive that they were the home team AND the underdog, so the fans were extra crazy in cheering. I’m not going to review the entire game, but I just want to say that as impressive as Tom Brady is, this game was won by the defense in shutting down the other team. I wish that a defensive player could have earned the MVP. I have nothing bad to say about Brady, in fact, I think that he worked really hard to pull the team together and garner confidence. This was a totally different team at the start of the season and it was very satisfying to watch them win the Super Bowl.
We stayed to watch the presentation of the trophy (my binoculars were particularly handy during the celebration at the end). Then we ventured out into the madness. I understand that if you can’t get a ticket to the Super Bowl, the second best thing is to be there near the stadium during the game. We saw a good number of people wandering around outside before the game that had no intention on attending and afterwards, it was chaos. The police blocked the streets with chain link fence. I don’t understand the reasoning for this because it caused all the people exiting the stadium to be stuck in a bottle neck. So much for social distancing! We were lucky at some point to even be moving at all. There were fans in every parking lot, street corner, gas station, etc. The streets were littered with debris. There were cans and bottles resting on windowsills of banks, stores, and houses. There were so many people gathering with music and drinks, yelling and dancing, it was a perpetual party all along the street. We, of course, went the wrong way out of the stadium and walked way more than needed. We saw a guy on a hoverboard with a yellow snake wrapped around his neck. There were food trucks and people selling BBQ and coolers of drinks all along the walk. There were dudes selling championship shirts every ten feet.
We finally emerged into a street with cars and they formed an impromptu parade with people loaded into the back of pick up trucks waving Bucs flags and screaming. They honked their horns and yelled, TAMPA and people screamed back, BAY! There were people running down the street, weaving through the cars with Buc’s flags. Considering it was the home town of the team of won the Super Bowl, I thought people were rather tame. However, we are in Florida. People here are pretty chilled out and just want to enjoy themselves. That is what they were doing in spades. The only reason I was nervous at all was the lack of masks and distancing. I felt no threat of violence, everyone was so happy.
We had a nightmare time trying to find a ride share back to the airport lot. We eventually had to walk back down the street just to catch a ride. The driver told us that quite a few streets were shut down just because of the sheer number of people crowding around and celebrating. It was an amazing experience. I can’t imagine if I ever get to attend another Super Bowl, it won’t compare to this one. It was my favored team, in their hometown, where I live, and they overcame the odds to become champions. How can you compete with that?