It’s no secret that the Super Bowl is a huge event, but these Super Bowl statistics are likely to make even the most world-weary do a double take.

Over the last few decades the Super Bowl has become a behemoth of an event, an annual institution which has spawned some truly startling numbers, and this year’s Super Bowl 50 which will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California will be no exception. Money is spent like there’s no tomorrow, astronomical amounts of food are consumed and social media is deluged with updates and opinions on the game. While it might be easy to drone on about the dangers of commercialism and materialism in society et cetera, this is the Super Bowl - there’s no point taking it seriously. Even among huge Super Bowl fans, only a small fraction are interested in the game itself. With that in mind, let’s take a less than serious look at the very real numbers surrounding this entertainment extravaganza. 
 
 
Travel
Although many travel no further than the nearest couch to watch the Super Bowl, there are a surprising amount of people prepared to make a trip to enjoy the spectacle. If there’s one thing that these statistics point to, it’s the fact that this is more of a social event than anything else, so it only makes sense to put a little effort into making sure that you spend the day surrounded by people you like.
 
  • Around 11 million people drive to the house of a friend or family member, a full 10% of those who catch the broadcast. In fact, this may be a growing trend, with the majority of those prepared to head further afield for the game belonging to the 18-24 age group. Of course, party crashers and college kids commandeering their parents’ TV may account for a lot of these people but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea. 
  • Fortunately for local businesses in the area that the event is held, it appears that those who travel to the Super Bowl itself are flush with cash and aren’t shy about flashing it around. Some reports indicate that Super Bowl tourists spend as much as 4 times more than the average tourist, which perhaps is not so surprising given that the ticket prices for the event have risen meteorically over the decades, limiting the live audience to the fairly wealthy.
 
 
Snack Footbal stadium
 
Food and Drink
Saying that a lot of food is consumed during the Super Bowl is a bit like saying that Cookie Monster has a certain fondness for cookies. It’s technically true but fails utterly to convey the enormity of the situation. To help you get your head around America’s love affair with Super Bowl Sunday snacks, take a look at the outsized stats below:
 
  • Chicken wings are far and away the most popular Super Bowl snack, with around 1.25 billion chicken wings consumed in the States on one single day. That’s 625 million chickens who’ve contributed to the day’s celebrations. Those unfortunate (but oh so tasty) fowl outnumber the entire human population of North America by more than 57 million.
  • Potato chips are one of America’s favourite snack foods year round but in spite of that fact, it may still come as a shock that the weight of the chips consumed on Super Bowl Sunday is equivalent to more than 24 Statues of Liberty. 
  • And with chips, you need dips. Guacamole is the favored option, and to make this guacamole an entire horde of avocados meet their smushy ends. If every American man, woman, child and infant were to consume their fair share, everyone would have to eat a whole avocado each. That doesn’t sound so bad until you realise that there are millions of American babies who aren’t pulling their weight on the guacamole eating front.
  • All that salty food inspires a powerful thirst which many Super Bowl fans choose to quench with beer. 325.5 million gallons of beer. It would be easy to tell you how many swimming pools that would fill, but perhaps this will do a better job of putting it into perspective: every adult in the U.S. would have to down more than 1.3 gallons of the stuff if it was evenly apportioned.

Media and Entertainment
While there are some lucky folk who get to watch the big game live, the vast majority of those who follow the Super Bowl do so from the comfort of a living room armchair. This means that the duration of the game is prime time for TV advertising, leading to some pretty ridiculous ad dollars being spent. It’s not just traditional media that’s in on the act though - it seems that millions scramble to have their opinions heard on social media during Super Bowl Sunday.
 
  • The estimated cost for 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl is $4.5 million dollars. If you want to up your airtime to 60 seconds… well, you do the math. The crazy thing is that in 2015 more than a third of Super Bowl broadcast was taken up by advertising, and more than $518 million was spent to air these commercials. That’s excluding the hefty cost of producing them. In spite of the intimidating price tag most advertisers would have considered it money well spent, as they each had the chance to reach more than 110 million people.
  • Not to be left behind by its older sibling, social media makes up for its comparatively low profile on Super Bowl Sunday by being extraordinarily prolific. During last year’s Super Bowl Sunday, on Twitter alone, there were enough words written about the broadcast to equal around 1000 copies of War and Peace. And just to prove that all that TV advertising isn’t for nothing, 1.9 million people tweeted about the Esurance TV spot. 
  • Halftime shows have been a staple of the Super Bowl since 1991 and the amount of money poured into the elaborate productions now border on the obscene, but that’s to be expected for the centerpiece of such a gigantic event. What’s more surprising is that the megastars invited to headline the Super Bowl halftime show aren’t paid a cent, expenses aside. The logic is that no matter how famous you are, getting in front of an audience of 110 million at once isn’t something you’re able to do any other way. Technically this isn’t a statistic, more the lack of one, but it’s still pretty crazy so it made the cut.
 
 
If you’re planning to join friends and family to consume prodigious amounts of chicken wings and guacamole (not at the same time, obviously - although maybe…) and revel in the madness that will be Super Bowl 50 on February 7th, get your travel plans nailed down before it’s too late. After enjoying the game, head to hot spots like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego or Sacramento. Another option is to head into the outdoors, visiting the likes of Yosemite National Park or Lake Tahoe - to burn off those calories!

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