By Jill Menze Posted January 22, 2014, 7:00 AM EST
As the Denver Broncos prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII, event planners are putting the final touches on the surrounding parties and attractions coming to the New York metro area for the N.F.L.'s biggest annual sporting event. The championship game, scheduled for February 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, not only marks the first Super Bowl in the Northeast, but it also serves as the first in a cold-weather city in an open-air venue.
While the activities surrounding last year's game in New Orleans brought a Southern flair to the Big Easy, the events leading up to the big game on the East Coast will highlight nearby New York City's five boroughs as well as New Jersey's home turf (not to mention a new host of logistical weather-related concerns). From media-grabbing events like the Super Bowl Boulevard and VH1's massive concert series, to smaller events designed to showcase the local scene, here's what you need to know for Super Bowl 2014.
Ticket prices for the game have reached record numbers. Although plans were put in place to deter scalpers, the N.F.L. also raised the face value of tickets. Currently, the worst seats alone cost upwards of $2,500, while suites are approaching $1 million, so a chance to view the game live on site won't come easily. The Wire: http://goo.gl/G5Z6xI
Security will prove its own special difficulty. With events in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and several cities in New Jersey, the logistical challenges of planning security at this year's Super Bowl are tougher to solve. Private and public events, including giant experiences such as Super Bowl Boulevard, which will occupy 13 blocks in Midtown Manhattan, require a number of moving pieces to execute smoothly and safely. New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1gPtbwL
Bruno Mars will headline the Super Bowl halftime show (power outages not necessarily included). Last year Beyoncé delivered a show-stopping performance, literally, as the power went out in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome shortly after her halftime set. This year, newer artist Bruno Mars will headline the halftime show alongside music vets Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rolling Stone: http://rol.st/KQesaO
A giant toboggan will run through Midtown Manhattan. To highlight the New York region as the first cold-weather area to host a Super Bowl, New York City will install a massive 58-foot-tall toboggan as the centerpiece of Super Bowl Boulevard, a public fan experience that will cover Broadway from 34th to 44th Streets. The activation, open January 29 to February 1, will include a concert stage, video mapping technology, and more for crowds gathering in the area. New York Daily News: http://nydn.us/11GCp91
VH1 is planning a massive concert blowout. VH1 will hold six concerts—one in each New York City borough plus one in New Jersey—with acts such as Janelle Monáe and Gavin DeGraw, as well as outdoor preshows with marching bands and dance performances. The shows will highlight the metro area as well as test the outdoor weather limits. http://bit.ly/1cJFQjO
New Jersey wants to see its name in lights. The Super Bowl technically takes place in New Jersey, so the host city of East Rutherford and neighboring Seacaucus are feeling left out of the buzz as high-profile parties are booked across the river in Manhattan. In response, events unaffiliated to the game, such as Meadowlands Tailgate Party 2014, were established to give the Big Apple a run for its money. New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1dmHHfB
For the lesser sports fans, there will be plenty of alternative entertainment. Animal Planet's popular “Puppy Bowl” is celebrating its 10th iteration this year, and over the years the event has drawn more sponsors and extended the experience beyond Super Bowl Sunday. This year be prepared for penguin cheerleaders and a kitten halftime show. Ad Age: http://bit.ly/1hz1mdg. For the fans who tune in for the advertising, Hulu is offering an AdZone channel that features iconic Super Bowl ads as well as previews of this year's content. Mashable: http://on.mash.to/Kn9HEL
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