Saturday, February 24, 2024

Mexican fans turn out en masse for Super Bowl LVIII

Fans in the United States, of course, bought the most tickets to Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday in Las Vegas, but guess which country was No. 2?

According to StubHub, NFL fans in Mexico purchased 3% of the seats that the ticket resale giant sold to the game at Allegiant Stadium — where a sellout crowd of 61,629 watched the Kansas City Chiefs subdue the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime.

StubHub’s report that Mexico was second only to the U.S. was picked up by several Latin American media sources.

One of them, Latinus, declared proudly that Mexicans had surpassed Canadians in ticket sales and were going to be the “segunda fuerza” (second force) in Las Vegas.

“Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas will be painted tricolor,” the media outlet hyperbolized in allusion to the green, red and white Mexican flag.

ESPN Deportes declared with similar brashness that the Chiefs-49ers game “will be, in part, a Mexican fiesta.”

A pro wrestler in a lucha libre mask poses with a full stadium and football field behind him
Mexican American pro wrestler Rey Mysterio at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday. (WWE Español/X)

Though no reports specified how many 2024 Super Bowl tickets overall were purchased by Mexicans, the media outlets generously concluded that Mexicans were the largest foreign fan base at the game.

StubHub did provide the statistic that the number of Mexicans who purchased its resale tickets was 47% higher this year than it was for the Super Bowl in 2020 (in which the Chiefs and 49ers also faced off).

CBS News reported the average price of a resale ticket to this year’s game at US $8,600, based on information from StubHub. The cheapest face-value tickets this year, sold directly by the NFL, were about US $2,000 each.

The attendance in Las Vegas of 61,629 was the lowest attendance in 57 of the 58 Super Bowls to date. Only the Super Bowl played on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida, had a lower attendance (24,835), but that was due to restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mexican ticket sales news was good news for the NFL, which in recent years has been putting a lot of effort into recruiting and maintaining its Latin American fan base.

The league says that Hispanics in the United States are the NFL’s most rapidly growing fan base, with an increase of 11% over this time last year.

Forbes México reported that the Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte declared themselves last week to be diehard 49ers fans — and that during their concert on Sunday in Chicago they would be wearing red 49ers underwear to support the team.

A man holds up a Mexican flag reading "Parral, Chihuahua," while in the stands of the Super Bowl
A Mexican fan proudly represents his home town at the Super Bowl on Sunday. (Juárez Ahora/Facebook)

The Mexican Association of Travel Agencies said airline ticket purchases from Mexico to Las Vegas last week increased by 20% over airline tickets to last year’s Super Bowl site in a Phoenix suburb (a 38-35 victory for the Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles).

For this year’s game in the U.S., the Spanish-language network Univision hosted its first Super Bowl telecast ever. Owned by Mexican American media giant TelevisaUnivision, the network also broadcast the game in Mexico on Televisa.

TV viewership numbers will come more into focus on Tuesday; preliminary reports showed the broadcast in the U.S. could likely beat last year’s record Super Bowl viewership of 115.1 million viewers.

The Spanish-language telecast didn’t miss its opportunity to comment on the romance that, for some viewers, eclipsed the sporting event. The commentary when singer Taylor Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce kissed after the game was, “¡Viva el amor!” (Long live love!).

With reports from Latinus, ESPN Deportes, USA Today and Forbes

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