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SBU/Siena survey: 75% of Americans plan to watch Super Bowl LVII

Feb 06, 2023

Seventy-five percent of Americans plan to watch Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, according to a new national survey of United States residents released today (Feb. 6) by the Siena College Research Institute and St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication.

Fifty-three percent say the game is an important part of their life, and 29% consider the Super Bowl to be a national holiday. 

Eighty-two percent of respondents look forward to seeing the new commercials and 80% enjoy the halftime show, while 78% say they love the game and never miss it.

Asked about their reasons for watching the Super Bowl, 90% of Americans say the Super Bowl is an opportunity to hang out with friends and family and 75% say it is an opportunity to eat and drink. Chips and dip topped the list of favorite Super Bowl foods at 75%, followed closely by chicken wings, pizza and nachos. 

Despite the rise of legalized gambling in many states, only 20% of respondents say they plan to wager on the game, although more than half (52%) of “Avid” fans say they will. Of those who intend to wager, nearly half (47%) say they will wager more than $100; 83% will place a friendly bet with a buddy or family member, and more than three-quarters (77%) will participate in an office pool. 

“No matter where or who you are, the Super Bowl is clearly a must-see event,” said Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute. “When two of the best teams compete on the national stage – and in a sport that 72% of us say we’re a fan of – Americans tune in, and they tune in with big numbers. Without a doubt the Super Bowl is an important part of American culture, as it brings us together each and every year.”

Why Do We Watch the Super Bowl? 

While three-quarters of Americans – including 97% of “Avid” fans and 92% of “Involved” fans – plan to watch Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, their motivations for watching vary. Half of respondents (49%) consider the game the most interesting part of the broadcast, including 37% of women. Twenty-one percent consider the half-time program the day’s highlight, and 20% favor the commercials. 

Additionally, 82% of respondents – including 79% of Non-Fans and 80% of Casual fans – look forward to the new commercials that appear during the game, and 80% look forward to the halftime show featuring Rihanna. A majority of Americans agree that they love the game and never miss it, including 95% of Avid fans, 86% of Involved fans, 81% of men and 75% of women. 

“What sets the Super Bowl apart from other cultural events is that it truly offers something of interest for everyone,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of St. Bonaventure’s Jandoli School of Communication. “Americans are able to come together with friends and family and bond over the game, the commercials, the halftime show and more, regardless of age, gender, economic status or geographic region. It transcends all traditional demographic differences to bring us together as a country.” 

Super Bowl Sunday: An American Tradition

In terms of how Americans plan on celebrating Super Bowl Sunday, a majority usually either attend (40%) or host a party (29%). Eighteen percent say they usually watch the game at a bar – including 42% of Avid fans. Fans say that they also usually wear team apparel (40%), buy Super Bowl-themed foods (42%), watch the halftime show (72%) and record the commercials (19%). 

Celebrating Super Bowl table

Half of Americans – including 86% of Avid fans and 67% of Involved fans – say they watch pre-game coverage. That said, only 1% consider the pre-game show a highlight of the day, and only 15% say they will watch pre-game in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Forty-one percent do not plan on watching any pregame coverage at all.

The Importance of the Super Bowl in Our Lives

“While more than half of Americans consider the Super Bowl ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important in their lives – including nearly a third who say they consider it a national holiday, other holidays such as New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and Halloween are considered more important, including among Avid fans,” Levy noted. “However, Avid fans are indeed hard-core — a third of them (32%) consider the Super Bowl more important than their own birthdays!”

Party Foods: Another Super Bowl Tradition

Forty-two percent of Americans say they buy Super Bowl themed foods to celebrate the big game. Topping the list of foods typically consumed on Super Bowl Sunday are chips and dip (75%), followed by chicken wings (59%) and pizza (59%). Fifty-six percent of Americans also say that they typically eat cookies, brownies and other desserts, while 55% say they eat nachos. Pigs in a blanket landed at the bottom of the list (24%).

Super Bowl food favorites 
Super Bowl Spending: How Much Would You Spend To Go To the Big Game?

How much are Americans would be willing to spend on a single ticket to the Super Bowl? Almost half (45%) say they wouldn’t spend anything. Conversely, over one in three (39%) say they would be willing to spend up to $1,000. (Current aftermarket prices begin at more than $5,000 for the cheapest, most remote seats). Only 2% say they have no limit on what they would spend to attend in person. Despite the high prices of Super Bowl tickets, 58% say they would want to attend the Super Bowl in person – including 90% of Avid fans, 73% of involved fans and 63% of men.

Only twenty-two percent of Americans say they plan to purchase Super Bowl-related merchandise this year – including 57% of Avid fans and 24% of Involved fans. Of those who plan on purchasing Super Bowl-related merchandise, 76% say they are most likely to purchase team and player apparel such as t-shirts and jerseys. 

For detailed demographics on the survey, click here.

The American Sports Fanship Survey was conducted January 3 - 8, 2023, among 3201 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 +/- 1.8 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 multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees in sports journalism, marketing and related fields. For more information or comments, please contact Dean Aaron Chimbel at 716-365-2040. 

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