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Who Attends the Super Bowl?

by 
Ezra Carmel
 on 
February 9, 2023
Who Attends the Super Bowl?

Our latest white paper, Who’s in the Stands? An In-Depth Look at Arena and Stadium Visits, uses location intelligence tools to uncover the demographic and psychographic characteristics of sporting events attendees – including Super Bowl fans. Below is a taste of our findings. For the full report, click here

Super Travel Plans

As the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl usually brings a tourism boom to the host city. The heat map below depicts the origins of travelers to the past three Super Bowls (excluding Super Bowl LV in 2021 which was held under COVID restrictions). Year after year, the distribution of Super Bowl attendees is relatively similar to the country’s population distribution – which means, perhaps unsurprisingly,  that the most densely populated regions are well-represented at the game. 

But the data also reveals that many Super Bowl attendees travel from the regions where the competing teams are based, which indicates that die-hard fans are willing to make the trip to see their local team potentially win a championship. The map also shows that visitors from the Super Bowl’s host city and surrounding areas are heavily represented at the game, regardless of whether or not a local team is playing. It’s likely that a significant number of football fans who live nearby take advantage of the rare opportunity to see a Super Bowl close to home. 

Super Bowl LVI in 2022, for example, was played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. The event was heavily visited by fans from Southern California as the game was not only being played by the LA Rams, but also at their home stadium in Inglewood, CA. A greater contingent than previous years was also in attendance from Cincinnati, OH and its surrounding areas.  

A Family Affair

Many fans travel to the Super Bowl from the same regions every year, with the host city and the contending teams’ hometowns also providing significant factions of attendees. But analyzing Super Bowl crowds throughout the years also reveals an important demographic shift taking place among those traveling to the Super Bowl – the growing number of family-oriented visitors. 

Since 2019, the True Trade Areas of the Super Bowl stadiums include increasingly greater shares of larger families. Last year’s Super Bowl LVI had an in-person audience that reflected a trade area in which 17.9% of residents came from families of five or more, up from 11.9% at the Super Bowl three years prior. Conversely, Super Bowl attendees in 2022 reflected a trade area in which 37.7% of residents were part of two-person households, a decrease from 47.8% in 2019. 

The increase in attendees from areas with larger families could reflect the NFL’s initiatives to make football a more family-friendly sport, including rule and equipment changes aimed at increasing player safety and supporting youth football clubs. The trend towards an increase in attendees from larger families may also inform decisions about products to promote as well as amenities that will contribute to a family-friendly experience on game day.

Brands invest heavily in ads that air during the Super Bowl. But with the right insights, stadium advertising platforms have tremendous potential to reach target audiences in-person at the big game. While a large audience is part of the equation, in order to achieve maximum impact, an in-depth understanding of visitors is critical.

For more insights into sports events attendees, read the full report here

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