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ESPN's guide to the premier football event
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No sporting event dominates the American entertainment landscape quite like the Super Bowl, which is played on the first Sunday of February.

It’s no exaggeration to say it’s the game that stops the nation. It’s inevitably the most watched television programme of the year, is always played out in front of a huge stadium packed to the rafters with vocal fans and there’s plenty of razzmatazz that comes with it too, in the form of the glamorous half-time entertainment and the parties that take place across the land. Here’s a stat: more food is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year except Thanksgiving. The day is considered an unofficial national holiday, with celebrations planned weeks in advance.

The Super Bowl is American Football’s showpiece event

It’s the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and the culmination of the NFL playoffs. Played at a different venue every year, the Super Bowl pits the champions of both conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC), against each other.

Yet the Super Bowl is so much more than just a game to crown the NFL champion. Tens of thousands of fans descend upon the host city to soak up “Super Bowl Week.” The week-long festivities leading up to the main event include a variety of games, events and concerts. The NFL Experience is the league’s interactive football theme park. It presents displays, attractions, kids’ football clinics, the NFL Memorabilia Road Show, and player autograph sessions. In the hours before the “Big Game,” the NFL holds its official Super Bowl Tailgate Party (an NFL tradition) at the stadium parking lot, with lavish food stations and major entertainment acts.

See our experience in 2014 and 2015 at the Super Bowl.

When the first whistle goes, though, the fans relish every play of the game: touchdowns and field goals, fumbles and interceptions, big hits and tactical battles and all the drama in between… Meanwhile, the Super Bowl halftime show is the world’s most famous in-stadium entertainment, always featuring performances by the biggest and most popular global music artists. Past performers include Madonna, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. 

In keeping with this, Katy Perry will headline the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 2016 Super Bowl will be the main event’s 50th edition, and will take place at the brand new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, while the following two years the event heads to Houston, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota respectively.

When time runs out and a winner is declared, the Super Bowl champion team lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named in honor of the legendary Green Bay Packers head coach. The teams who have won the most NFL titles in history are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers. Tradition dictates that in the days after the Super Bowl a ticker-tape parade is held in the team’s hometown for fans to honor their heroes. In addition, there is often a celebratory victory event held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida – led by the game’s Most Valuable Player (or MVP).

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