Super Bowl billboards light up Caesars Palace ahead of Sunday's NFL Championship game in Las Vegas Photo: AFP
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Chiefs, 49ers clash as Las Vegas eyes Super Bowl classic

20 Comments
By Rob Woollard

The biggest party in American sport is about to get even bigger on Sunday when Las Vegas hosts the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in what promises to be a Super Bowl blockbuster for the ages.

The first-ever NFL championship finale to be staged in the glittering Nevada gambling metropolis was always going to be a money-spinning bonanza.

But the budding romance between pop superstar Taylor Swift and the Chiefs' charismatic Travis Kelce virtually guarantees this year's showpiece has already hit the jackpot.

The Swift-Kelce phenomenon has sent NFL viewing figures skyrocketing, and there is every chance Sunday's spectacular will eclipse the record 115.1 million who tuned in to watch last year's Super Bowl, when the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.

Swift is expected to jet to 'Sin City' immediately after performing in Tokyo on Saturday night to cheer on her beau Kelce.

The singer will be among a crowd of celebrities, VIPs and high-rollers packed into the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium to see if Kelce and the Chiefs can clinch a third Super Bowl crown in five seasons.

Las Vegas -- once shunned by the NFL but now an increasingly important US sporting hub -- has been crackling with anticipation in the final days before Sunday's big game.

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates around 500 private jets will touch down in Las Vegas for the game, while city officials say they expect an influx of more than 300,000 visitors over the Super Bowl weekend.

The horde of tourists will flock to casinos, nightclubs and celebrity-hosted watch parties being laid on in addition to Las Vegas' regular array of concerts featuring stars such as U2, Adele, Christina Aguilera and Green Day.

Those lucky enough to have secured a ticket for Sunday's game, which includes a half-time show by R&B star Usher, will have paid handsomely for the privilege.

The cheapest seats available on ticketing website Stubhub weigh in at a hefty $5,542; the most expensive an eye-watering $56,700.

The American Gaming Association, meanwhile, expects a record 67.8 million Americans -- around a quarter of the country's adult population -- to place a bet on the Super Bowl, generating an estimated $23.1 billion.

In the neon-lit maelstrom of partying and revelry, it has been almost easy to overlook the fact that in the middle of it all is a sporting contest, which in itself has all the ingredients of a classic.

The Chiefs are playing in their fourth Super Bowl in five seasons, hoping to cement their dynasty status with a third Vince Lombardi Trophy after wins in 2020 and 2023.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes will join Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman as the only quarterbacks to win three or more Super Bowls if the Chiefs are victorious.

The franchise would also be the first team since Brady's New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to win back-to-back Super Bowls -- an achievement that Kelce is determined to match.

"That tier of teams who have won it (back-to-back) have gone down as some of the greats," Kelce said this week.

"I've wanted this more than I've ever wanted to win a Super Bowl in my life."

Sunday's game is also a repeat of the 2020 Super Bowl, when Mahomes led a stirring fourth-quarter comeback with unanswered points to beat San Francisco 31-20.

The 49ers, meanwhile, are chasing a sixth Super Bowl and their first since 1994-1995.

The 49ers emerged from the regular season with the best record in the NFC but survived nerve-shredding playoff games against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to book their ticket to Las Vegas.

Lining up against Mahomes for San Francisco will be quarterback Brock Purdy, playing only his second season in the league after being chosen by the 49ers with the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, meanwhile, is aiming to end his long wait to finally get his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his third Super Bowl.

As well as the loss to Kansas City in 2020, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator when the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the 2017 Super Bowl before losing to New England.

"I've been able to coach in two Super Bowls and both of them are heartbreaking," Shanahan said. "Those things last a while. But it's all about getting back there again, and that's what I'm excited for today."

© 2024 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.


20 Comments
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Go '49ers!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

No problem!

It all points to a 49er win!

Brock Purdy # 13

49ers  4 + 9 = 13

Superbowl 58  5 + 8 = 13

Date 2/11   2 + 11 = 13

Year ‘23 (start of season)   23 -10 (10 letters in Brock Purdy name) = 13

Letters:  Brock Purdy & 3rd quarterback = 10 letters + 3 = 13

                 Quarterback + 2 years in NFL = 11 + 2 = 13

SCORING

13 + 26 + 39 + 52 = 130 final score: 49ers 13 to Chiefs 0

Or

13 + 26 + 39 + 52 = 130

{(1 x 13 = 13)   +  (2 x 13 = 26)   +  (3 x 13 = 39)  +( 4 x 13 =52)  = 130 } 

 Divide 130 by the total 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10   (4 Quarters in a game)

Or the 10 letters in Brock Purdy :

13 for the 49ers and zero for the Chiefs

Or

7 for TD & PAT + 6 for TD = 13 

49ers 13 to Chiefs 0; 7 for 49ers to 6 for Chiefs

Do you feel like you had a concussion?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

About time for Shanahan to be the Bride than the bridesmaid.

He's lost so many times and Niners are due for their 7th Super Bowl.

Go Niners.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Awesome! Last pick QB makes it to Super Bowl is the American dream.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Purdy played a lot of football at Iowa St which is one reason why he's had so much success so quickly. Doesn't hurt that you have Pro Bowl players around you but the best QBs often do. I'd love to see the Niners and Purdy win. It would put into question all these experts and their 'evaluation' methods when the last pick in the draft has so much success compared to 1st rounders. Won't be easy. Mahomes is Mahomes and the KC defense under Spagnola has vastly improved this season. Still, a great running game and defense often wins championships and the Niners are the better running team and their defense is top 5. Niners by 3.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is an American Football match scheduled to be played? I wonder what time it begins...however, I really must clean up the garden.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

3RENSHOToday  03:05 pm JST

Is an American Football match scheduled to be played? I wonder what time it begins...however, I really must clean up the garden.

You should be cleaning up your garden now. Don't break a nail.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

KC by 6.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The greatest and most watched sports spectacle on earth.

Can't wait for Monday morning although my team isn't in it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The greatest and most watched sports spectacle on earth

Greatest is a subjective view.

Most watched is not. The Super Bowl isn’t.

Nowhere near it.

Anyway, it’s a good occasion. I’m not a fan of the sport but I can see the fun in it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

stan

The greatest and most watched sports spectacle on earth.

The Football World Cup Final is watched by 1.5 billion viewers.

The Super Bowl is 120 million.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Jinizo, wallach - wrong. It is the most watched sports event on the planet.

It isn't by quite some distance, but it does okay for a niche sport. I quite like it, and this year it falls on a national holiday in Japan which might boost viewing.

Lots of lengthy commercial breaks in which to make a cup of tea, bake a scone, move house, build a cathedral etc.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Do you have a spelling problem?

Post your figures if you believe the Super Bowl is the most-watched sports event.

Here are my figures; U-S-A.

Jinizo - enuff said.

they don't call it the SUPER bowl for nothing.

A bunch of "mates" watching soccer in a pub in Frankfurt isn't even in the same ballpark.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

stan

it would appear you don't have any actual viewing figures. What are you afraid of? Available online. Just like I posted.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It isn't by quite some distance, but it does okay for a niche sport. I quite like it

Me too. It’s kind of fun.

The half-time show pulls in a few viewers not interested in the game itself. I think I watched the Who one time. They had a bit in the tank.

Taylor Swift’s romance with a player may give it a bit of tinsel.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

stan

you have a problem spelling wallace, it's so easy.

You are unable to post any figures.

Argentina's shootout win over France in the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup reached a global audience of 1.5 billion viewers, Fifa has revealed. Jan 19, 2023

One Month On: 5 billion engaged with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/worldcup/qatar2022/news/one-month-on-5-billion-engaged-with-the-fifa-world-cup-qatar-2022-tm

On Tuesday, Nielsen told CNN that in updated data, it found that 115.1 million viewers tuned in on February 12 to watch the Kansas City Chiefs come back and beat the Philadelphia Eagles

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/05/03/sport/super-bowl-lvii-most-watched-us-telecast-ever-spt-intl/index.html#:~:text=The%20best%20photos%20from%20the%202023%20Super%20Bowl&text=On%20Tuesday%2C%20Nielsen%20told%20CNN,and%20beat%20the%20Philadelphia%20Eagles.

What is so hard to understand, Stan?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The Super Bowl has been the most watched sporting event on the planet since at least the early 80's.

It's in the top 10, I suppose that's something to build on. Maybe in a few years it can be as popular as cricket or bicycling is.

World Cup of Soccer – 5 Billion Viewers

Tour de France – 3.5 Billion Viewers

Cricket World Cup – 2.6 Billion Viewers

Women’s World Cup – 2 Billion Viewers

Summer Games – 2 Billion Viewers

Winter Games – 2 Billion Viewers

UEFA Champions League Final – 450 Million Viewers

Super Bowl – 115.1 Million Viewers

Wimbledon – 25.6 Million Viewers

NBA Finals – 17.8 Million Viewers

World Cup of Rugby- 17 Million Viewers

Kentucky Derby – 16.6 Million Viewers

The Masters – 15 Million Viewers

World Series – 14.73 Million Viewers

NCAA Final Four – 14.7 Million Viewers

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Let's go 9ers!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bang bang niner gang!

Let's go Niners!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here are my figures; U-S-A. 

Good point.

7 out of 10 of the world's most valuable teams are from the NFL. The other 3 teams in the top 10 are from the U-S-A. Baseball and basketball.

A bunch of "mates" watching soccer in a pub in Frankfurt isn't even in the same ballpark.

Spot on.

NO European team of any kind in the top ten. Must be due to low, actual viewership and thus low ad revenue.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2023/09/08/the-worlds-50-most-valuable-sports-teams-2023/?sh=3551f3602b44

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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