The Super Bowl practically comes with a guarantee of A-list star wattage: No matter where it is, celebrities flock to the big game and blowout extravaganzas connected to it.
But its location this year at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. — just outside of New York City — has raised the bar.
“New York is hot and has always been hot, so the pressure is on. Energy will be pumping, wherever you may be,” said Shape magazine Editor-in-Chief Tara Kraft, who is helping plan a $2,500-a-ticket event at New York’s Cipriani’s, co-sponsored by Men’s Fitness. It will feature Mary J. Blige, Marc Anthony and John Legend.
So far, it seems like the city has delivered on that promise. Jay Z will perform at DirecTV’s Super Bowl Eve party; Drake is due to perform at another; the Foo Fighters are performing across from Bud Light’s floating party on a cruise ship; the Kings of Leon and the Black Keys are set to rock out at two different events; GQ is planning an exclusive, invite-only party that’s still under wraps but likely to attract plenty of boldface names; and Super Bowl parties sponsored by Playboy and Maxim are expected to be even more wild given this year’s location.
“I think the expectations are a lot higher for New York,” said Jon Gieselman of DirecTV, which invented the Celebrity Beach Bowl. “What’s so unique about it is you’re competing with other Super Bowl events but you’re really competing, also, with all of the other incredible things that New York has to offer. There’s so much to do in New York.”
Gieselman and his team began planning two years ago, rather than the usual one, due to tight competition for suitably large venues and navigation of complicated permitting procedures. Though there’s a chance for blistering cold weather or even snow Feb. 2, DirecTV is more than prepared for inclement weather: Its eighth annual beach bowl will be inside an 88,000-square-foot structure that he boasted can withstand hurricane-force wind. It is set to feature stars including Shay Mitchell of “Pretty Little Liars,” model Chrissy Teigen and food TV star Guy Fieri, as well as retired football greats like Joe Montana. Rockers Paramore will perform.
Time Warner Cable will stage four nights of VIP parties and concerts from a pop-up; a small number of customers can win free tickets via Twitter to see P. Diddy and Drake on Super Bowl Eve and Kings of Leon that Thursday night. Janelle Monae, Fall Out Boy, TLC, J.Cole, the Goo Goo Dolls and Gavin DeGraw are among those booked by VH1 for a concert slate dubbed the “Super Bowl Blitz,” six nights of entertainment.
The Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band will perform as part of Bud Light Hotel festivities near the cruise ship docked on the Hudson, along with Imagine Dragons, Run DMC and Fall Out Boy.
Some of the hottest parties will be unattainable to most. GQ is throwing a bash at the Boom Boom Room atop The Standard hotel in the meat-packing district. Superhot Grammy nominee Kendrick Lamar was tapped for two events, hosting Maxim’s bash and performing at ESPN the Party, where he’ll also be joined by Robin Thicke and Jermaine Dupri.