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The Superbowl: Then and Now

In January of 1967, people sat around with excitement and anticipation of watching the AFL-NFL World Championship, which would be later known as Super Bowl I. The Kansas City Chiefs were playing the Green Bay Packers in hopes of winning but fell short by 25 points. Now over 50 years later with many changes in gameplay and the event itself, we see the Chiefs in the Super Bowl once again. The last couple of years have been their most successful, with two AFC Conference Championship wins and a Super Bowl win. Can they do it again this year, or will they fall short of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who also have successful Tom Brady? I guess we’ll have to see in Super Bowl LV. Other than gameplay, let’s talk about some differences in the Super Bowl throughout the years.

–   While there have been 52 Super Bowls and two AFL-NFL Championships prior to this year, it only started being played on the first Sunday in February of 2004. This is because the number of regular-season games and playoff games played differs from years prior to ’04, causing the game to end up in February and not January. 

–   The Super Bowl halftime show hasn’t always showcased a famous person or group, either. For around the first decade of Super Bowl games, drill teams and marching bands would perform in the 15 minutes between the first and second half. Eventually, we started seeing groups and singers that we would hear on the radio during halftime. Halftime shows also have gotten more intricate as the years have gone on – there are background dancers and singers, huge stages, themed decorations, etc. Some of the most notable halftime show performances were by Prince, Madonna, Beyoncé, Aerosmith, and Katy Perry. This year, we will see the Weeknd perform, as well as Amanda Gorman – the first-ever poet to perform at a Super Bowl.

–   Many people also tend to watch the Super Bowl for the memorable ads in-between gameplay. We see many well-known companies such as Doritos, Budweiser, Coke, and Ford have 60-second ads running throughout the program. A 60-second ad in 1967 would cost companies just $37,500, while today companies pay a massive amount of around $11.2 million. These companies only pay this much because of the number of viewers that the Super Bowl brings in every year, and in hopes that it will bring in more customers.

–   Attending a Super Bowl game rather than watching it on television is a once-in-a-lifetime chance (well, today it is). Super Bowl tickets climb in price every single year, yet people still buy them just to get this experience or to watch their favorite team. The average cost of a Super Bowl ticket in 1967 was only around $12, while a ticket today would cost much over $1,000. Many people resell tickets for over $5,000, and there are even some tickets that go for as much as $30,000. 

–   The amount of people who have viewed the Super Bowl continues to go up. In 1967, which was the year for the lowest viewership, 35.6 million people watched the Super Bowl. The year with the highest viewership, which was 2017, brought in a total of 172 million viewers. This is because of an increase of television ownership, the added football teams from the original teams, the increase of female viewers, etc. The Super Bowl in the past decade has been bringing in an average of at least 150 million each year.


This year also brings in two more firsts for the Super Bowl. This is the first year that a limited number of fans will be able to enter the stadium – which is due to COVID-19. Only 25K people will be allowed, and there is said to be 30K cutouts of fans that cannot be in attendance. This is also the first time that a football team has played in their home stadium for the Super Bowl. The stadiums where the Super Bowl is played is always set in advance, so this is a rarity. The 55th Super Bowl is being held in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, which is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Will this give them an advantage, or will it be bad luck? Will Tom Brady win his seventh Super Bowl or will Patrick Mahomes win his second? We’ll find out on February 7. Whether you are planning on just watching for the halftime show or because you love football, this game sure will be one for the books, so don’t miss it!







Hi everyone! My name is Emalee and I’m a senior here at NCSU and I’m a Communication major with a Public Relations concentration and a Science Communication minor. I’ve come to like writing a lot and I’m excited to share what I write about with you:)
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