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St. Bonaventure/Siena Research survey reveals 75% of Americans to watch Super Bowl; wings are king

Jan 31, 2024

sports survey logoFor the second year in a row, 75% of all Americans plan to watch the Super Bowl according to a new survey of United States residents released today by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) and St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication.

Fifty-three percent say the game is an important part of their life, 36% consider the Super Bowl to be a national holiday and 50% support offering the Monday after the Super Bowl each year as a paid day off of work.

Chicken wings edge out pizza as America’s favorite food to eat on Super Bowl Sunday, 25-23% followed by chips/dip (12%), nachos (8%) and burgers (8%). When considering both their favorite and second favorite game time foods, pizza (43%) beats out wings (40%), followed by chips/dip (24%), nachos (19%), burgers (18%), sandwiches (14%) and barbecue (12%).

“Official or not, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday,” said Don Levy, SCRI’s Director. “Seventy-five percent of all Americans plan to watch the game and the much anticipated halftime show and commercials.  Seventy-two percent say they are football fans and half of Americans say football, more than any other sport, is their favorite. Adding to the excitement of the day is the favorite food war — now a tossup between pizza and wings with nachos, burgers, subs, barbecue and so much more waiting for us all.”

Of those watching the Super Bowl, 52% say the game itself is most interesting while 21% tune in for the halftime show and 19% watch for the commercials.

For the first time, the Siena-St. Bonaventure survey asked Americans to select the top game, play, commercial and halftime show from the early years of the Super Bowl (1967-99) as well as the modern era (2000-23).
Main graphic for fanship survey

“Two of the most memorable Super Bowl moments come from an unlikely pair: Michael Jackson and Betty White,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication. “Jackson’s groundbreaking 1993 halftime show clearly dominated the musical performances with nearly half, 45% of respondents, saying it was the greatest of its era. White’s 2010 Snickers commercial, meanwhile, was the greatest modern commercial named by more than a third, 36%, of all respondents.”

“The popularity of 2022’s hip-hop halftime show was culturally significant, cementing a shift from the rock and pop line-ups that dominated the previous decade of performances,” Chimbel added

Seventy-one percent of Americans say they are sports fans, including 81% of men and 61% of women. Siena and St. Bonaventure once again identified four strata of sports fanship based on respondents’ level of participation in activities such as watching live sports, checking the scores of live sporting events, and talking about sports with friends and family. In this year’s analysis, 19% of Americans can be considered “avid” fans – meaning they participate in some sort of sports fanship activity daily, while 26% are “involved” fans, 27% are “casual” fans, and 28% are “non-fans.”

By a margin of 59-16% Americans think football promotes values that make America a better rather than a worse country.  Sixty-two percent support players or teams displaying slogans including ‘End racism’ on the back of their helmets and by 54-18% they think professional football does more to overcome rather than perpetuate racial discrimination.

Overwhelmingly, Americans are in favor of rule changes aimed at lessening the possibility that players in the NFL suffer from neurological injuries and by 75-18% they support requiring the NFL to have independent doctors make the decision as to whether or not an injured player can continue to play.  At this time, only 24% of all Americans think the NFL is doing an excellent job protecting athletes while 34% think that they are doing just enough and 30% believe the NFL is not doing enough to protect players.

While just under a quarter of Americans think the NFL is doing an excellent job penalizing players for whom there is evidence of them committing domestic violence or for whom there is evidence of them committing sexual assault, in both cases nearly 40% say that the NFL is not penalizing these athletes enough.

Odds and Ends Beyond NFL Football and the Super Bowl

  • By 45-32% Americans think it is good for sports that the NCAA passed rule changes allowing college athletes to sell the rights to their names, images and likenesses (NIL). Similarly, by 43-31% they say it is good for sports that NCAA President Charlie Baker proposed a new tier of Division I sports in which schools must pay at least half of their athletes $30k each year above and beyond scholarships.
  • By 43-28% Americans think it is bad for sports to introduce the ‘automated ball-strike system’, commonly referred to as ‘robo-umpires’. And respondents are evenly divided on whether it is bad or  good for sports that MLB star Shohei Ohtani signed a record breaking $700 million contract (37-35%).
  • By 34-20% respondents say it is bad for sports that golfer Jon Rahm left the PGA Tour and signed with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
  • By 75-12% Americans say it is good for sports that the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to equalize pay for the national men’s and women’s teams.
For detailed demographics on the survey, click here.
Fanship polls No. 1

Fanship polls No. 2


The American Sports Fanship Survey was conducted January 2-7, 2024, among 3071 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel (Lucid) of United States Residents. Data was statistically adjusted by age, region, race/ethnicity, education, and gender to ensure representativeness. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 1.9 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information or comments, please call Dr. Don Levy at 518-783-2901. St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in sports media, journalism, communication and related fields. For more information or comments, please contact Dean Aaron Chimbel at 716-375-2040.