THE SUPER BOWL’S POPULARITY has been growing exponentially in Australia. Due to surging interest in American football and an enduring love of celebrity appearances and big budget commercials, Super Bowl Monday has become something of an annual celebration in Australia. And—as a result of an unfortunate time zone disparity—taking off work to watch the big game has also become a tradition.
To the sports-averse eye, the Super Bowl may look like a relentless smattering of corporate advertisements, drawn-out musical performances and ostentatious pyrotechnics with occasional football plays in between, but the game also has undeniable appeal. After all, it’s also a celebration of American culture and an opportunity for Aussies to extend the weekend by staying home on a Monday.
This year, viewing numbers are expected to climb even higher. Partially, because of what will undoubtedly be an incredibly competitive game between a burgeoning dynasty and one of the most talented teams in recent memory, but also—perhaps to a more significant extent—because of the headline-making relationship between Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. For presumably the first time, hordes of Swifties will be tuning into the Super Bowl hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol. That addition, if nothing else, will make Super Bowl 58 unique.
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Super Bowl 58 to ensure you’re prepared for the big game. From the storylines driving both teams to the likelihood of a Swift appearance, you’ll find it all below.
When is the Super Bowl in Australia?
Superbowl 58 will take place on Monday, February 12th, 2024. The game will kick off at 10:30am AEDT, but pregame coverage will begin at 9:30am. Kick off is 5:30 PM Central Standard Time on Sunday, February 11th for Americans.
Where is the Super Bowl being played?
Super Bowl 58 is being played at Allegiant Stadium, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Allegiant Stadium only recently finished construction in 2020 and is the home of the Las Vegas Raiders, who didn’t come anywhere near having home ground advantage in the big game, finishing the season with a mediocre 8-9 record.
Some important facts about the stadium that could influence the Super Bowl’s outcome include that it is a dome, meaning the game will be played indoors, in a climate-controlled environment and without the interference of wind. The home grounds of the participating teams are both outdoor stadiums. But could indoor inexperience factor into the result? Probably not, these guys are seasoned pros and are presumably accustomed to playing in all sorts of conditions, from blizzard-like snow to searing heat.
Who is playing in the Super Bowl?
Super Bowl 58 is a rematch of 2020’s Superbowl 54, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl since 1969 in a close-run 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams have experienced vastly different fortunes since that game, but nevertheless, they’ve both wound up in an identical position four years on.
Both teams are coming off dominant seasons, with the Chiefs in particular returning to the Super Bowl as defending champions and building off years of strong performances. But the 49ers, as one of the most historically successful NFL teams, are nothing to snuff at either. At the time of writing, the 49ers are narrow favourites to take home the Vince Lombardi trophy, but the Super Bowl is notoriously unpredictable, with a number of upsets breaking the guarantees of expert analysts over the years.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are nominally the underdogs heading into Super Bowl 58. But to call them such seems needlessly droll. After all, the Chiefs have appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls, won two of them, and look set to become the NFL’s next dynasty.
The Chiefs finished the regular season with an 11-6 record, which was enough for them to win their division, but was their worst record since 2017—which is really a testament to how successful the Chiefs have been. A lacklustre 5-5 record over the final ten games of the season was responsible for Chiefs’ below average (only by Chiefs’ standards) record and dropped them to the third seed in the AFC (American Football Conference). It meant the Chiefs’ path to the Super Bowl was more difficult than usual, but they overcame it nonetheless, eliminating the second seeded Buffalo Bills and the first seeded Baltimore Ravens along the way.
Helping forge the Chiefs’ path to a Super Bowl victory of dynastic proportions is star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. At 28 years of age, Mahomes is already a two-time MVP, two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes could retire today and still go down as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but unfortunately for the 49ers, Mahomes won’t be retiring today. Should we witness another Chiefs Super Bowl victory on Monday, Mahomes will likely be the driving force behind it.
Travis Kelce, otherwise known as Taylor Swift’s darling muse, is another of the Chiefs’ key players. With the departure of a number of key wide receivers, the Chiefs came into the 2023 season short-handed in the quality of their pass catchers. Kelce had to bear more of that burden than usual, but the tight end surprisingly reeled in his lowest receiving yards total since 2016. Kelce remains one of the NFL’s premier tight ends, but as a 34-year-old with declining athleticism at one of the sport’s most physical positions, his career clock is approaching the 11th hour. Are we suggesting that Kelce could retire with Taylor Swift in his arms after a Chiefs Super Bowl victory next week? We wouldn’t dare! All we’re saying is that it’s a possibility.
On the defensive side of the ball, look for defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to make some big plays.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers finished the 2023 regular season with a 12-5 record. While marginally better in the standings than the Chiefs, the 49ers have been Super Bowl favourites all season long, and have looked like it. Besides an inexplicable three game skid in October, the 49ers have looked borderline unstoppable this season. Posting big scores over formidable opponents and treading a fairly safe path to the Super Bowl—irrespective of having to overcome a 17 point deficit against the Detroit Lions last week—the 49ers have looked like potential Super Bowl champions all season.
Since the 49ers’ last Super Bowl appearance in 2020, the team has undergone a thorough retooling. After sinking to a 6-10 record in the season following their Super Bowl loss, the 49ers drafted Trey Lance to assume the place of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo stuck around for a few more seasons though, leading the 49ers back to the playoffs—Lance didn’t. The young quarterback was traded to the Dallas Cowboys before the start of this season, but the 49ers have since found their answer at the quarterback position.
With the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft—an honour that lands players the title of ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ as they rarely make an impact in the league—the 49ers selected Brock Purdy. Purdy has been anything but irrelevant, emerging as the key orchestrator of the 49ers dominant offense and establishing himself as a top-level quarterback. Purdy is only 24, but if the 49ers win a Super Bowl with him at the helm, it would immediately become one of the best—to quote Drake—”started from the bottom now we here” stories in sports history.
The quarterback position isn’t the 49ers’ only strength, their roster is star-studded from top to bottom. Running back Christian McCaffrey, linebacker Fred Warner, offensive lineman Trent Williams and tight end George Kittle have all proven to be among the best in the NFL at their respective positions, while 2022 defensive player of the year Nick Bosa is the league’s premier pass rusher.
Who is doing the Super Bowl half time show?
Usher is headlining this year’s Super Bowl halftime show and the performance will likely be the biggest of the 45 year old’s career. Details on what to expect are few and far between. Although, the singer has hinted that his show will honour African-American artists of the past.
The NFL has also tapped Post Malone to perform, ‘America the Beautiful’ in the lead up to kick off.
Where can you watch the Superbowl?
In Australia the Superbowl will be broadcast live and free on Channel 7 and 7Mate, with coverage beginning at 9:30am AEDT. The game will also be available to stream on 7Plus, with live and on-demand coverage available on Kayo. Foxtel viewers can also tune into coverage on ESPN.
Will Taylor Swift be at the Super Bowl?
Taylor Swift has had a busy couple of weeks. The singer was watching from the stands as the Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game last week. Then, she announced a new album at the 2024 Grammys and within hours had taken home the album of the year award. Despite her busy schedule, we’ll probably be seeing Swift at the Super Bowl on Monday. Given her supportive obligations to Travis Kelce and her numerous appearances at Chiefs games throughout the season, it’s hard to see Swift missing the big game.
It’s also worth noting that Swift’s Eras tour doesn’t start until a month after the Super Bowl, leaving plenty of time for celebrations.
Are there any Australians in the Super Bowl?
A number of Australians have made inroads in the NFL (particularly punters with AFL backgrounds) and every year it seems another Aussie is playing in the Super Bowl. This year is no different. Perth-born punter Mitch Wishnowsky (nicknamed the ‘booming onion’, for a reason Wishnowsky himself doesn’t seem to understand) will take the field with the 49ers on Monday.
Wishnowsky has spent five seasons with the 49ers and was part of the team that lost Super Bowl 54. As a punter, Wishnowsky won’t have the most visible impact on the game’s outcome, but he’s an important member of the 49ers nonetheless. His presence ensures there’ll be an Aussie on the field in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.
What are the best places to watch the Super Bowl?
For those lucky enough to be watching the game instead of heading into the office or donning the tool belts on Monday morning, venues nationwide are ready to welcome you in. We’ve rounded up a few of the best venues hosting Super Bowl events, watch parties and celebrations in Australian capital cities, so you can find the best spot to cheer on your team and sing your heart out during Usher’s halftime show.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Sydney
Golden Sheaf, Double Bay – $25 beer buckets and all-American game day menu crafted by culinary maestro Morgan McGlone.
Seadeck, King Street Wharf – Super Bowl takeover in Sydney Harbour with live DJ, merchandise and classic American food.
Forrester’s, Surry Hills – Super Bowl viewing party with a range of packages including food and drinks.
The Sackville Hotel, Rozelle – American beer, burgers and a “big ‘ol Super Bowl feed” highlight this viewing party.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Melbourne
Warf Hotel, CBD – The big game broadcast live and loud with American themed food, halftime games and live music.
Prince Alfred Hotel, Richmond – Beer garden viewing area, all-American breakfast and lunch menus.
Le Bon Ton, Collingwood – Big-screen viewing with a range of American-inspired eats, including a Texas barbecue and southern smoked meats. Specials include a $10 pot of Coors with a cheeseburger or six wings.
College Lawn Hotel, Prahan – Free-flowing beers, wine, and soft drinks, topped up with eight courses of US-inspired canapés.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Brisbane
Caxton Hotel, Brisbane – Food and beverage package from 10am to 2pm, American-style menu, free giveaways.
BrewDog, Fortitude Valley – Packages including American beers and wings.
Port Office Hotel, Brisbane – Four-hour food and drink package with a selection of American-style grazing boards.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Adelaide
Shapeshifter Brewing Co, Findon – 4-metre TV screen, all-day American beer specials plus food and nibbles.
Lion Hotel, North Adelaide – Big screens, competitions, giveaways, drink specials and classic American themed snacks.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Perth
The Claremont Hotel, Claremont – 7am start (shocking), plus breakfast menu.
Greenwood Hotel, Perth CBD – Eating competitions, mascot photo opportunities, game day American food specials and a Wilson NFL Official game ball giveaway. VIP Package holders can take advantage of priority seating, bottomless Coors and endless hot wings.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Hobart
Telegraph Hotel, Hobart – $10 pints of Boag’s XXX alongside an NFL-themed breakfast menu featuring pizzas, loaded fries, hot dogs and brekkie burgers.
Best places to watch the Super Bowl – Canberra
Bleachers Sports Bar, Canberra – Indoor and outdoor screens, Bleachers and Capital Brewing Co Super Bowl LVIII T-shirt and Capital Brewing Schooner for ticket holders, plus a glorious two-litre beer tower.