Bayou Bash: Super Bowl Festivities Underway In New Orleans
New Orleans may be a town “famous for all-day carousing, but the Super Bowl party scene will have some noticeable absences this week,” according to Lefton & Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The NFL Commissioner’s Party, which “started as a media gathering at the first Super Bowl and eventually gave rise to the whole party scene, is scaling back to a VIP-only event this year with thousands fewer attending.” The league also is “downsizing the party annually hosted by its consumer products division to a luncheon.” NFL VP/Communications BRIAN MCCARTHY said that teams also have “opted to stage their own smaller gatherings.” Penthouse is “not reprising its annual Super Bowl party.” But Playboy will be “back in full force with its annual offering, presented by Crown Royal, this Friday night at the Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar.” Maxim President BEN MADDEN said that the publication’s annual bash is “at the Second Line Stages studio Saturday night, and it expects a crowd of between 2,000 and 3,000.” This year’s seventh consecutive DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl Tailgate Experience “will be Saturday next to Mardi Gras World, with a crowd of 4,500 expected for the daytime event.” An invitation-only night party “will host around the same number of people, with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE performing.” This year’s ESPN Next affair is Friday night “inside a 50,000-square-foot tent at Tad Gormley Stadium; between 2,000 and 2,500 are expected” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/28 issue). ESPN.com’s Kelley Carter noted the “price tag to host these affairs is astronomical, with some parties costing more than a million dollars.” Bud Light VP MIKE SUNDET said, “It’s something that has built up gradually over time. Even prior to our NFL sponsorship, we’ve thrown parties and concerts in the Super Bowl host city. The demand for those events became more coveted.” Playboy Senior VP & Publisher JOHN LUMPKIN said, “I think that it’s fair to say that what the Playboy party is to the Super Bowl weekend is the equivalent to what Vanity Fair is to the Oscars. It’s a must-attend.” Maxim Chief Content Officer DAN BOVA said, “It’s insane. I swear the day after the party, people start asking if they can get on the list for next year. You tend to feel like you’re Willy Wonka with these golden tickets that everyone is clamoring for” (ESPN.com, 1/30).
ON TAP FOR TONIGHT: The annual NFL owners’ party hosted by Saints’ Owner TOM BENSON and his wife, GAYLE is tonight with a “seated dinner for 300” (N.Y. POST, 1/29)….Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard kicks off tonight at 6:30pm CT with the arrival of the Super Bowl XLVII Roman Numerals. The new event features a lineup of local music artists, food and beverage offerings and will remain open through Sunday (Verizon)….NFL Network’s MICHAEL IRVIN will host the first Society Bowl at the Eiffel Society tonight (THE DAILY)….Pro Football HOFer MARSHALL FAULK will team with Africa For The Future and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts students for a benefit and jazz concert with all proceeds going to the three groups (THE DAILY). The event will be held at The Columns Hotel with Pro Football HOFer ERIC DICKERSON, as well as fellow HOFer Irvin and SNOOP DOGG, expected to attend (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 1/30)....ESPN’s RON JAWORSKI is hosting his annual Super Bowl Cigar Party with proceeds to “benefit Louisiana victims of Hurricane Isaac.” The party also raises funds for the Jaws Youth Playbook, which “aims to improve the lives of youth in Philadelphia.” Johnnie Walker Scotch is among the party sponsors. This will be the “fourth year in a row” Jaworski has hosted the event (CIGARAFICIONADO.com, 1/25). The event is co-sponsored by the AFL New Orleans VooDoo. ESPN’s JON GRUDEN, MIKE TIRICO, MIKE DITKA and SUZY KOLBER are expected to attend (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 1/30).