LOUDONVILLE – Seventy-five percent of Americans planned to watch Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, according to a new national survey of United States residents released recently by the Siena College Research Institute and St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication. Fifty-three percent say the game is an important part of their life, and 29 percent consider the Super Bowl to be a national holiday.
Eighty-two percent of respondents looked forward to seeing the new commercials and 80 percent enjoy the halftime show, while 78 percent say they love the game and never miss it. Asked about their reasons for watching the Super Bowl, 90 percent of Americans say the Super Bowl is an opportunity to hang out with friends and family and 75 percent say it is an opportunity to eat and drink. Chips and dip topped the list of favorite Super Bowl foods at 75 percent, followed closely by chicken wings, pizza and nachos.
Despite the rise of legalized gambling in many states, only 20 percent of respondents planned to wager on the game, although more than half (52 percent) of “Avid” fans said they would. Of those who intend to wager, nearly half (47 percent) said they would wager more than $100; 83 percent would place a friendly bet with a buddy or family member, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) would participate in an office pool.
“No matter where or who you are, the Super Bowl is clearly a must-see event,” said Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute. “When two of the best teams compete on the national stage – and in a sport that 72 percent of us say we’re a fan of – Americans tune in, and they tune in with big numbers. Without a doubt the Super Bowl is an important part of American culture, as it brings us together each and every year.”
Why do we watch the Super Bowl?
While three-quarters of Americans – including 97 percent of “Avid” fans and 92 percent of “Involved” fans – planned to watch Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, their motivations for watching vary. Half of respondents (49 percent) consider the game the most interesting part of the broadcast, including 37 percent of women. Twenty-one percent consider the half-time program the day’s highlight, and 20 percent favor the commercials.
Additionally, 82 percent of respondents – including 79 percent of Non-Fans and 80 percent of Casual fans – looked forward to the new commercials, and 80 percent looked forward to the halftime show featuring Rihanna. A majority of Americans agree that they love the game and never miss it, including 95 percent of Avid fans, 86 percent of Involved fans, 81 percent of men and 75 percent of women.
“What sets the Super Bowl apart from other cultural events is that it truly offers something of interest for everyone,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of St. Bonaventure’s Jandoli School of Communication. “Americans are able to come together with friends and family and bond over the game, the commercials, the halftime show and more, regardless of age, gender, economic status or geographic region. It transcends all traditional demographic differences to bring us together as a country.”
Super Bowl Sunday: An American Tradition
In terms of how Americans planned on celebrating Super Bowl Sunday, a majority usually either attend (40 percent) or host a party (29 percent). Eighteen percent said they usually watch the game at a bar – including 42 percent of Avid fans. Fans say that they also usually wear team apparel (40 percent), buy Super Bowl-themed foods (42 percent), watch the halftime show (72 percent) and record the commercials (19 percent).
Half of Americans – including 86 percent of Avid fans and 67 percent of Involved fans – say they watch pre-game coverage. That said, only 1 percent consider the pre-game show a highlight of the day, and only 15 percent say they will watch pre-game in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Forty-one percent do not plan on watching any pregame coverage at all.
The importance of the Super Bowl in our lives
“While more than half of Americans consider the Super Bowl ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important in their lives – including nearly a third who say they consider it a national holiday, other holidays such as New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and Halloween are considered more important, including among Avid fans,” Levy noted. “However, Avid fans are indeed hard-core — a third of them (32 percent) consider the Super Bowl more important than their own birthdays!”
Another Super Bowl tradition
Forty-two percent of Americans say they buy Super Bowl themed foods to celebrate the big game. Topping the list of foods typically consumed on Super Bowl Sunday are chips and dip (75 percent), followed by chicken wings (59 percent) and pizza (59 percent). Fifty-six percent of Americans also say that they typically eat cookies, brownies and other desserts, while 55 percent say they eat nachos. Pigs in a blanket landed at the bottom of the list (24 percent).
Super Bowl spending: How much would you spend to go to the big game?
How much are Americans would be willing to spend on a single ticket to the Super Bowl? Almost half (45 percent) say they wouldn’t spend anything. Conversely, over one in three (39 percent) say they would be willing to spend up to $1,000. (Current aftermarket prices begin at more than $5,000 for the cheapest, most remote seats). Only 2 percent say they have no limit on what they would spend to attend in person. Despite the high prices of Super Bowl tickets, 58 percent say they would want to attend the Super Bowl in person – including 90 percent of Avid fans, 73 percent of involved fans and 63 percent of men.
Only twenty-two percent of Americans say they plan to purchase Super Bowl-related merchandise this year – including 57 percent of Avid fans and 24 percent of Involved fans. Of those who plan on purchasing Super Bowl-related merchandise, 76 percent say they are most likely to purchase team and player apparel such as t-shirts and jerseys.