The Super Bowl is a big deal in the U.S. Consistently the biggest television event of the year, the Super Bowl makes up 29 of the top 30 top-viewed television events in U.S. history. The 2022 Super Bowl was no exception, drawing 112 million viewers.
Photo by woolennium
In addition to those watching from home, the Super Bowl is also big tourism event for the thousands of people who make the trek to the host city to support their team or just be part of the excitement. This year’s Super Bowl was exceptional, as it was only the second time a host city’s team managed to qualify for the Super Bowl (the first was when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played and won in their hometown last year). This created an interesting dynamic as the Los Angeles Rams faced off against the Cincinnati Bengals in their hometown of Los Angeles.
Near Research studied visitor traffic to Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl to understand the impact the event had on its host city:
Los Angeles saw an increase in airport visitors
- Los Angeles’ primary airport, LAX, saw a noticeable 15% increase in daily visitors during the week leading up to the Super Bowl vs average January daily visitors
- Visitors from Ohio, the home state of the Cinncinati Bengals, increased by 108% vs January visitors
- Other states that saw a significant increase in visitors to LAX leading up to the Super Bowl included:
- North Carolina – 53% increase
- Oklahoma – 52% increase
- Tennessee – 40% increase
The Super Bowl Halftime Show drove some particularly interesting visitation patterns
The show featuring Compton native Dr. Dre and others was performed on a set featuring a few Compton landmarks like Tam’s Burgers and Dale’s Donuts. Those landmarks saw a marked uptick in foot traffic directly following the game:
- Tam’s Burgers in Compton saw a 255% increase in visitors during the two hours after the game when compared with the week before during the same time
- Dale’s Donuts similarly saw a 284% increase in visitors after the Super Bowl
A strong majority of game attendees were Californians
Not surprisingly, due to the location and an L.A. team playing, a majority of the attendees at the game were Californians (78%).
- By contrast, just 3% of attendees came from Ohio.
- Almost half (47%) of Super Bowl attendees were from Los Angeles County itself
- Another 22% were coming from other Southern California counties, including a Orange County (9%), San Bernadino County (5%) Riverside County (4%) and San Diego County (3%)
- Phoenix and Las Vegas each represented about 1% of visitors
The Super Bowl Experience hosted at SoFi stadium attracted primarily locals
In addition to the game itself, SoFi Stadium hosted a Super Bowl Experience during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The experience included attractions and rides for football fans of all ages.
- An overwhelming majority of the visitors to the Super Bowl Experience (81%) were from California, with 66% of them from Los Angeles County
- The next most represented state for visitors to the experience was Ohio, with 3% of the visitors
- Around 98% of visitors that visited the football attraction were based out of U.S., reflecting how relatively little interest American football attracts internationally
Future Implications for Tourism
Beyond the Super Bowl weekend itself, the impact of the Super Bowl on California tourism is likely to continue in the weeks and months to come. Between the game itself, a Half Time Show featuring California sites and songs, and a Visit California ad, the Super Bowl drove significant awareness of California as a destination to millions of viewers.
Near studied visitors to Los Angeles sites including LAX, SoFi Stadium, Tam’s Burgers, Dale’s Donuts and more for date ranges from January 5 – February 13, 2022. Reports used included Near’s Heartbeat, Vista Insights, Demographics trend analysis, and Geosocial Affinity analysis YoY.