By Eric Barton
City & Shore Magazine
Right about now, you’re likely seeing an endless number of ads for parties and events around “The Big Game.” And even though the Super Bowl trails the Olympics and FIFA and maybe the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the actual biggest sporting event in the world, it’s telling that you know exactly what those ads are talking about.
That’s because everything around the Super Bowl is big, right down to the parties that get it started. With Super Bowl LIV in South Florida this year – with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira upping the entertainment ante at halftime – the entire metro area has gone into hyperdrive with parties and events to celebrate its arrival.
There are of course the shows that every single person in town is trying to get tickets to these days, the Super Bowl-eve blow-out with Lady Gaga. She’s the headliner, performing after artists like Rick Ross and Flo Rida and hosted by former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Feb. 1 show will drop at Meridian at Island Gardens, a brand new 65,000-square-foot entertainment space on Watson Island. Meanwhile, rapper Cardi B will headline the inaugural Super Bowl 2020-adjacent Vewtopia Music Festival, which plans to fill Marlins Park in Miami with big names in pop, hip-hop and Latin music Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
But we all know about that these. For the VIP shebang’s, the can’t-miss extravaganzas, we’ve culled together a list of the best parties leading up to, you guessed it, the Big Game.
A Four-Day Beachfront Luxury Upgrade to the Tailgate
During the regular season, a typical run-up to a game might be little more than brats in the parking lot. But this is the Big Game, which means you need to go big on your pre-game party. To go really big, spring for the $1.5 million 1 of a Kind Package at 1 Hotel South Beach (1hotels.com/south-beach). For 20 guests, it includes spa treatments for everybody, a dedicated butler, 10 grand in food and beverage at the hotel, group yoga, a “dedicated personal guru” and four nights in 10 ocean-view rooms. At the stadium, you’ll watch the game from The Nine, an open-air suite with access to a private club with food and drinks. For those who wish to keep their Super Bowl spending below the price tag of a new Bentley, the property offers lesser Super Bowl packages that start at $200,000.
The Super Bowl Eve Party with a Purpose
Just like any other holiday, the Super Bowl is celebrated big the night before with a party that just might rival Noche Buena. This year, the night-before-the-big-game celebration arrives at the Broward County Convention Center with the event Party with a Purpose by Taste of the NFL (tasteofthenfl.com). The league uses its entire season to ramp up to the event, each week raising money and collecting donations for food banks through a friendly cooking competition with fans and chefs. At Party with a Purpose, a $700 general admission ticket gets you access to dishes prepared by top chefs from around the country, including local favorites Allen Susser and Paula DaSilva. You’ll also mingle in a room full of celebrities, including former Dolphins players John Offerdahl and Dick Anderson. No doubt that general admission ticket will be a fine run-up to the Super Bowl. But a more exclusive way to usher in the year’s biggest sporting event is with the VIP package, which begins with a walk on the red carpet and early entry into the event. Inside, you’ll find a table with your name on it, literally, for 10 people in a reserved section, making for a very special Super Bowl eve.
Fashion Before Football
Forget the over-crowded runways of New York fashion shows. The Off the Field Players’ Wives Association Fashion Show (offthefieldpwa.org) is a full week of exclusive events and a runway-style show. The models will be players’ wives and significant others, escorted by the players themselves. The fashion event has served as one of the marquee events leading up to the Super Bowl for nearly two decades now, and proceeds will benefit Reach Higher, Michelle Obama’s higher education initiative. In South Florida, the event will take over the Miami Design District’s Palm Court Plaza with in-store events and activations in the neighborhood’s fashion retailers. Standing-room access to the fashion show will cost you $150, but spring for the upgrade to VIP access for $450, which affords a front row to the show, where you’ll rub elbows with the NFL players and first ladies.
A Tent Party to Match the Big Game
What might be the biggest party of Super Bowl week will be under a tent. We’re not talking one of those rickety tailgating pop-ups – this will be a 40,000-square-foot party tent for 2,500 guests that’ll look inside more like a nightclub. Set up waterside on Virginia Key, underneath will be the home of Maxim Havana Nights (maximsb2020.com and email@example.com), at which the men’s magazine will continue its tradition of a blow-out Super Bowl party – this year will be its 20th anniversary. Headliners include the Chainsmokers, Rick Ross and Lost Kings, and the organizer, In the Know Experiences, has brought to past event a veritable red carpet of stars, including the aforementioned Cardi B, Jeremy Renner and Alex Rodriguez. Ticket prices were yet to be announced as of press time and registration was available only on Eventbrite. The event begins at 10 p.m. Feb. 1 and runs until nearly dawn the next morning. And while just being there (tickets start at $650) will surely be an experience, VIP upgrades include access to nightclub-like lounges, bottle service and your very own yacht for eight hours, with packages costing as much as $150,000.
The Hosts of the Big Game Hold a Big VIP Party
The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee began planning this year’s celebration exactly a year ago, just after the last Super Bowl ended. All that preparation culminates Jan. 30 with The Official Miami Super Bowl Host Committee VIP Party (miasbliv.com) in the Bal Harbour Shops. With a theme “A Destination Fashion Celebration,” the event will include entertainment, food, drinks and of course the celebrities and officials that make up the host committee. That includes local elected officials, business leaders and Dolphins great Dan Marino, who’ll host a grand party leading up to it.