#TBT Sports Blog: Inauspicious Debut of the Super Bowl in 1967

The Vince Lombardi NFL Super Bowl TrophyToday’s #TBT sports blog rewinds football fans’ love affair with the NFL Super Bowl way back to January 15, 1967.

That’s the day when the now most watched television event in American history made its inauspicious debut.

The initial metrics surrounding Super Bowl I pale in comparison to the pageantry and digital deluge that Super Bowl LIII will foster.

Given the NFL’s unparalleled growth into a $10 Billion+ per year enterprise, it’s hard to fathom that its 1967 experiment to pit the vaunted NFL against the upstart AFL in a winner-take-all championship game was not an immediate hit with advertisers and the general public.

Let’s replay the video and learn more.

Compared to the whopping $5 million per 30 second advertising spot that CBS Sports commands for SB53 coverage, Super Bowl I ads collected only $42,000 in revenue for each half minute spot. Per a FOX Business Report, the NFL will collect in excess of $500 Million in total Super Bowl LIII ad revenue.

In addition, the first Super Bowl was simulcast by two major sports networks. Both CBS and NBC held broadcast rights for the two (NFL and AFL) respective leagues at the time and reported a much lower than expected combined viewership.

Only 51.1 million American viewers witnessed the first big game on television, compared to an estimated 100 million fans anticipated to watch Sunday’s contest in Atlanta between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

However, a less than auspicious Super Bowl debut becomes evident upon greater scrutiny.

Securing a spot in the Los Angeles Coliseum for the historic SBI contest between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs was as easy as a chip shot field goal. A decent seat only set fans back $12. That’s right, just 12 bucks!

Amazingly, the 61,940 announced attendance in Los Angeles was nowhere near a sellout. More than 33,000 seats in the cavernous stadium were empty.

No wonder why the NFL can’t seem to locate the actual footage from Super Bowl I.

Super Bowl LIII Average Cost of Ticket

By comparison, StubHub claims that the average broker price for a Super Bowl 53 ticket commands $4,613. That’s correct! It now can take thousands of dollars just to enter the gates of the gleaming $2 billion+ Mercedes Benz Stadium where a well heeled crowd exceeding 75,000 fans is expected.

For those cash fat fans who can afford to get into the game, no expense is now spared on entertaining them. Instantly recognized super star entertainers, or at least their agents, vie for the unprecedented exposure SB53 affords individual brands.

But, Sunday’s SB53 entertainment featuring Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi is a far cry for the league’s first title contest, and it should be.

Back in ’67, the halftime entertainment comprised of the University of Arizona Marching Band, 300 pigeons and 10,000 balloons, along with Al Hirt blasting away on his trumpet.

Super Bowl: An American Cultural Phenomena

Certainly, the spectacle of modern era Super Bowls has morphed dramatically over the years to become an American cultural phenomena.

Today’s #TBT post recalls how television’s greatest single event has transformed over the course of the past half a century.

And, why, as football fans, we couldn’t be happier.

That’s because we’re all counting down the moments to Sunday’s SB53 kick-off.

Enjoy the game!

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MIKE – the ultimate talking head on sports!

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