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15 Super Bowl Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About

Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year. But there's a lot even the biggest football fan may not have heard about the big game. Here are craziest and most interesting Super Bowl facts to keep you going until kickoff.

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Official Super Bowl XLVIII Footballs Manufactured at Wilson Football FactoryMatt Sullivan/Getty Images

The ball is crafted by hand in the U.S.A.

Each step is completed by hand by Wilson craftsmen and craftswomen with the aid of machines at the Wilson Football Factory, located in Ada, Ohio, according to the company. Watch one of the 10 best football movies of all time to get into the team spirit.

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AMFOOT-NFL-SUPERBOWL-NFL-EXPERIENCETIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty Images

Each team gets a lot of balls

Each team playing in the Super Bowl gets 108 footballs, says Kristina Peterson-Lohman, of Wilson Football Factory. Of those, 54 are for practice and 54 are for the actual game. During a typical Super Bowl, 120 balls are used. (The additional ones are kicker footballs, used for all kicking plays.) These are the 10 types of people you meet at every Super Bowl party.

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Front Grille of Cadillac EscaladeWendellandCarolyn/Getty Images

The players drive in style

As a perk, every player in the big game gets a loaner car to drive around during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, says Marlin Jackson, Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts, who now runs the Fight For Life Foundation Inc. “During Super Bowl XLI, I drove a Cadillac Escalade all week,” Jackson says. Learn about 11 surprising things that have been banned in sports.

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Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City ChiefsMichael Zagaris/Getty Images

What really happens during halftime

Jackson shares that during the season, players use halftime to make adjustments and work out any muscle kinks. But since the Super Bowl Halftime is twice as long as a usual game, players wait about 20 minutes before doing anything (warm-ups, adjustments, etc.) to time it to the start of the second half. Meet Amanda Gorman, the groundbreaking inaugural poet who’s performing at the 2021 Super Bowl.

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NFL: FEB 02 Super Bowl LIV - Chiefs v 49ersIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

Super Bowl = big bucks

You might have known this Super Bowl fact already, but getting to the big game isn’t cheap. The average cost of Super Bowl 53 tickets in 2019 was over $4,650, according to SeatGeek. This year may not be the year to throw a Super Bowl party, but don’t miss these 13 Super Bowl party tips every host needs to know.

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Sports CollectiblesDavid Cooper/Getty Images

But not back in the day…

Tickets for the very first Super Bowl in 1967 cost an average of $6, which was apparently too pricey for many. According to Brisa Trinchero, founder of ticket sales site shoowin.com, there were 30,000 empty seats! Do you know about these ridiculous requirements for cities hosting the Super Bowl?

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Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime ShowKevin Winter/Getty Images

Halftime performers make how much?

Jennifer Lopez, Bruno Mars, and even Beyoncé didn’t get paid a single dime to perform at past Super Bowls. But don’t feel too badly for them. Trinchero shares that although they don’t get actual cash, the exposure can be worth tens of millions of dollars, and often the halftime show scores higher ratings than the actual game. Can you guess the staggering amount of chicken wings Americans eat during the Super Bowl?

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Super Bowl XLIIAndy Lyons/Getty Images

All tickets are paper…for now

Unlike attending most sporting events today, the Super Bowl only issues and accepts paper tickets, says Trinchero. However, that could be changing—this year, the NFL is aiming for 10,000 mobile entries, making it an almost entirely electronic entry. Yahoo Sports speculates that it might mean the end of an era and that the Super Bowl’s paper-ticket holdout will become a thing of the past. Watch out for these 15 Super Bowl party mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

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Super Bowl I - Kansas City Chiefs vs Green Bay Packers - January 15, 1967James Flores/Getty Images

It wasn’t always “super”

“The Super Bowl wasn’t actually referred to as the Super Bowl until Super Bowl III,” shares Trinchero, “At the time, what we now know as Super Bowl I and II were just called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”

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Official Super Bowl XLVIII Footballs Manufactured at Wilson Football FactoryMatt Sullivan/Getty Images

Six little words

The words “Commissioner,” “Wilson,” and “Made in the U.S.A” have been imprinted on every single Wilson Super Bowl game football since day one, shares Peterson-Lohman. Don’t miss these other 15 facts about America you never learned in school.

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Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver BroncosElsa/Getty Images

The Lombardi Trophy

Peterson-Lohman also says that the football on top of the Lombardi Trophy is the exact size of an official “The Duke” football, which is 55 cm through the middle, 71 cm around the ends. That’s one big trophy!

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Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles RamsJamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s good to be family—or a friend

According to Jackson, players aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the Super Bowl perks. “Family and friends enjoy the weekend with hotel stays, luxury vehicle loans, and exclusive events,” says Jackson. “They also have the opportunity to attend practice the day before the game—or at least it was this way with the Indianapolis Colts.”

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San Francisco 49ers' Fans Watch Their Team's Super Bowl LIV Match Up Against The Kansas City ChiefsPhilip Pacheco/Getty Images

Party time

A ticket to the Super Bowl isn’t the only in-demand ticket that week. According to Trinchero, there are usually (in pre-COVID times) multiple high-profile parties all week long, most with corporate sponsors. You can even purchase a general admission ticket to some of the biggest parties, but it won’t come cheap—Trinchero says these can go for more than $2,000!

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Stack of moneyREB Images/Getty Images

Those crazy-expensive ads

This is another Super Bowl fact you’ve likely heard about before: Those ads are big money. On average, a 30-second Super Bowl spot runs in the millions. Two ads are tied for the most expensive ever: A 2020 Google/Google Assistant ad and a 2020 Amazon Alexa ad both cost $16.8 million.

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SUPER BOWL VIII - Miami Dolphins v Minnesota VikingsDiamond Images/Getty Images

No ordinary coin will do

Don’t even think of flipping a penny or quarter to start off the Super Bowl. Each game gets its own unique coin crafted by the Highland Mint. The front of the coin features the Lombardi Trophy along with the helmets of the two teams playing. Superfans can purchase a replica coin after the game. Check out these other 100 interesting facts about practically everything.

Sources:

  • Kristina Peterson-Lohman of Wilson Football Factory
  • Marlin Jackson, Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts, who now runs the Fight For Life Foundation Inc.
  • SeatGeek: “Super Bowl Tickets”
  • Brisa Trinchero, founder of ticket sales site shoowin.com
  • Yahoo Sports: “Miami Super Bowl could mark end of paper tickets for big game, start of NFL collecting data on every attending fan”
  • Aol: “The Most Expensive Super Bowl Commercials of All Time”
  • The Highland Mint: “Super Bowl Coin”

Felissa Benjamin Allard
Felissa Allard has worked at The New York Daily News, Health, Life & Style, About.com and more. As a freelancer, she has had pieces published on What To Expect, SELF, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Modern Mom, Working Mother, and more. Her specialities are beauty, fashion, health, wellness, and parenting.

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