Super Bowl XLVIII Brings Super Fun, Super Chaos, to Midtown

On February 2nd, 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII will commence at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. As part of the festivities, the NFL and its sponsors are preparing a handful of events in the days leading up to the big game. Lucky for us, Midtown has been chosen as the hub for the majority of these activities. Depending on your point of view, this may prove to be a blessing or a curse. Either way, I wanted to take this opportunity to lay out the information so all of us can prepare for the impending excitement.

There are two main events taking place prior to the Super Bowl. The first, and largest, is called Super Bowl Boulevard and will take place along, you guessed it, Broadway between 34th and 47th. From Wednesday, January 29th to February 1st, this entire section will be closed off and transformed into Pre-Super Bowl central. There are a large variety of events taking place on each block, so instead of listing each one, I will simply direct you to the NFL website. However, seeing as I had to spend my entire weekend at the office, I brought along my camera so I could snap a few pictures of the setup. Literally outside of my office (Broadway between 41st and 42nd), they are setting up an absolutely massive stage.

This will be Autograph & Concert Stage – from 12PM-5PM daily they will be offering free autographs from NFL players, the list of players will be announced on the 27th. Additionally, there will also be a concert every night beginning at 8PM. The line up from their website is listed here:

Wednesday night – Bacon Brothers
Thursday night – Michael Cavenaugh
Friday night – Café Wha? Band
Saturday night – Blondie

On the next block, Broadway between 40th and 41st, you will find the Toboggan Run. Yep, it takes up pretty much the entire block and unlike the majority of these events, the Toboggan Run will charge $5 for tickets, all of which is being donated to charity.

It was far too cold for me to walk all the way down Broadway to check out the extent of the other setups, but the NFL has been kind enough to post a map on their website. It’s a little confusing, but it could be helpful in planning where you want to go (or stay away from).

The second event will take place within Bryant Park, hosted by PepsiCo, and will be known as #PEPCITY (their words, not mine). It will be home to (FREE) concerts from Austin Mahone (yay!), Prince Royce, and Ziggy Marley. In addition to the concert lineup, there will be some sort of art display display. Most importantly, there will be food and beverage offerings from a number of celebrity chefs. Assuming the prices are reasonable and the lines aren’t too long, we will be sure to update Midtown Lunch if there’s anything worth trying.

UPDATE: I noticed this blurb on The Daily Beast page, which is linked to below:

Each chef will create specialty menu items that incorporate PepsiCo products into unique recipes, reflective of their individual styles. Food will be offered at eight individual stations. Upon entering the space, guests will receive a “Taste of PepsiCo” passport that will enable them to sample and stamp each selection. All food samples will be provided for free.

So the food might be within the ML price range, but I can only imagine what the lines will be like.

If this seems at all appealing to you, please don’t let my mundane description of the event deter you. The Daily Beast has a far more comprehensive outline of everything taking place.

This is undoubtedly an exciting time for NYC, and I have no doubt we will all make for gracious hosts. If the weather were a little warmer, and I was excused from work for the week, I would make my way down to both events and mingle through the crowds. As with many (if not all) of you, next week is just another work week. Whether you plan to avoid this entire show like the plague, or take advantage of all it has to offer, I wish you the best of luck.

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