Why is there a week off before the Super Bowl?
The huge logistical challenges that surround the Super Bowl are just one of the reasons the NFL never seriously proposed taking away the week off ahead.
Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just about the game.
Whether it’s the public practices, arrangements, or media days that both teams have to go through in the lead-up to kickoff, there is a whole operational itinerary that takes away time from game preparation.
Since Super Bowl I, a two-week window has been scheduled between the Sunday of the conference title games and the final contest. The idea was created to give the promotion of the game time to build, but as the event grew, so did its organizational needs.
The logistical frenzy
Getting tickets from the league to the teams to the end user sponsors, holding hotel rooms, getting end zones painted, and all the team graphics in the stadium are just some of the endless things management has to take to take care of within these two weeks. Additionally, with fans preparing for the football frenzy as soon as both teams are decided and making their way to the Super Bowl host city to support their clubs, they could sometimes bring thousands of people, including the club’s entire staff and their families, which of course would be all but impossible on a compressed timeline.
With that said, if only one week was given ahead of the Super Bowl, the four teams competing in the title games would not know whether they were flying home after a loss or heading to the Super Bowl host city straight after the game.
The Super Bowl hype
Additionally, with the Super Bowl gaining more and more popularity over the years, a big part of the event’s excitement comes from the build-up in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. For two weeks straight media outlets do nothing but talk about the Super Bowl, so much that even non-football fans are tempted to tune in and see what all the buzz is about.
As for celebrities and brands, keeping the extra week also gives them more time to sell products and events surrounding the big event. This allows for days of parties, sponsor events, business meetings, fan zones, and the entertainment world that is the Super Bowl.
The Pro Bowl move
Another factor in the two-week window is the move of the Pro Bowl from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before, which happened in 2010. The League is heavily promoting flag football and so would have not wanted the Pro Bowl platform to be canceled due to a playoff schedule scramble.
Teams need to rest
Aside from the operational and marketing purposes, getting both teams rested and healthy for the Super Bowl as they each chase the Vince Lombardi Trophy is crucial, especially after a non-stop season that starts in September.