As a Jets fan, you’d think I’d be sitting out this Super Bowl. (And all of them, apparently.)
But no. This year, even downtrodden fans can find comfort in the Super Bowl, which will feature more extracurricular activity than it ever has before to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
A bit of background: Super Bowl 50 will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7th at 3:30 p.m. PST. The city and surrounding area is expecting about one million visitors and close to a billion dollars in local economic impact. The good news is you don’t even need to attend the game to enjoy the atmosphere, rub shoulders with NFL greats, or just hang out with ridiculously famous and attractive people.
And if you want to go to the game, well, it’s nothing $50,000 (or so) can’t fix.
Here’s our VIP guide to the game and all its peripherals.
Image from Napa Valley Wine Train
Drink wine with a Super Bowl winning coach/vintner
The Napa Valley Wine Train offers afternoon lunch tours throughout the wine region in beautiful, 100-year old railcars. Their “Big Game Train” package offers a chance to hang out with former players and coaches during the ride — including Hall of Famers Dave Wilcox and Fred Biletnikoff — as well as taste vinos made and curated by former NFL-ers. Goodbye Raiders, hello Charles Woodson Wines!
($189-$249, Feb. 3)
Image from Maxim
Party with bros (and stylish ladies)
The invite-only Maxim Party takes place on Treasure Island at a 50,000-square-foot waterfront pavilion with a waterfront driving course sponsored by Dodge ... And the “best ratio of stylish and beautiful ladies” ($1000+, Feb. 6). The annual Leather & Laces party is a celeb-heavy, “hot bodies and lots of glitter” bash held over two nights (Feb. 5-6, $495+), and Playboy will debut its new, non-nude take on the pre-game soirée (Feb. 5). A good way to keep track of all the beautiful people? The Super Sunday HQ mobile app.
Image from Youtube
Pre-game dance off
Bay Area legends Metallica headline “The Night Before” concert at SF’s baseball stadium, AT&T Park. Sponsored by CBS Radio, TNB is a relatively new tradition of big name acts playing big shows on the eve of the game. Cage the Elephant opens ($49.50-$149.50, Feb. 6). The Dave Matthews Band and Pharrell Williams headline three days of shows sponsored by DirecTV and Pepsi at Pier 70 starting Feb. 4. And Rolling Stone hosts a party with Pitbull, LMFAO and, uh, Steven Tyler at the SF Design Center
(Feb. 6, $1500+).
Image from Fairmont San Jose
Watch the game like a president
The Fairmont San Jose is offering a three-night, $50,000 per night package with eight tickets to the game, $5,000 worth of Apple products and accommodations in their Presidential Luxury Suite (which has, yes, been used by presidents). Some other sites offering VIP experiences in the five-figure range include Prime Sport and VIPs Access.
Somehow, do free stuff
Super Bowl City is a free fan village complete with zip-lines and giant video avatars on Market Street at Justin Herma Plaza. They’ll host concerts all week, including a performance by Alicia Keys. The NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai offers interactive football-themed attractions at Moscone Center.
(Jan. 30-Feb. 7)
Image from Huffington Post
Eat with a superstar chef
Celebrity chefs G. Garvin, Beau MacMillian, Aaron May and, sigh, Guy Fieri will headline the morning-of-game 2016 Players Super Bowl Tailgate featuring 25 current NFL players and a menu prepped by Fieri himself (including a “Flavortown Finale” of S’more Pie and Doughnut Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Bacon Bourbon Glaze). Upside: Emceed by Erin Andrews. And open bar!
(Feb. 7, $700)
Take in a bit of football history
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon honors former SB-winning coach and broadcaster John Madden and features 50 Hall of Famers sharing gridiron stories (Feb. 5). And Hall of Fame memorabilia will be on exhibit at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara.
(Starting Jan. 18).
Enjoy football, help others
CharityBuzz is auctioning off tickets to the game (starting at $6K) with proceeds supporting the diabetes non-profit JDRF and the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation. The Taste of the NFL features chefs from each NFL city serving their signature dish alongside a current or former pro player, with proceeds supporting local charities that fight hunger.
(Feb. 6, $700+)
Gatecrash the whole thing
Hey, this guy’s done it for 35 Super Bowls.
Nota bene: If you’re staying at home, we highly recommend Sports Illustrated’s on-going “Untold Super Bowl Stories” series, which features deep dives into everything from the “Bud Bowl” to the hangover MVP of Super Bowl I.