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States Most interested in attending the Super Bowl

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 5 mins

States Most interested in attending the Super Bowl

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We are still relatively early in the 2023 NFL season, but a number of different fan bases already have their sights set on the second weekend in February and Super Bowl LVIII. The Eagles, Niners, Chiefs, Dolphins, Bills, and Lions are off to red-hot starts and—as of this writing—pace the field as title contenders at online sportsbooks.

But what about the fans? There’s an added layer to this year’s Super Bowl festivities as the league’s biggest game descends upon Las Vegas for the first time in its 58-year history in what should be two weeks of parties, events, fine dining, and of course the crowning of a world champion.

That means the fans, too, are already looking ahead to securing one of the 70,000+ tickets inside Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11. But which states specifically are most excited about heading to Sin City for the ultimate football game of the year? We dug into the data to find out. Here’s what we uncovered.

Lions Hype Is Real—And Michigan Is Anticipating A Big Run

Forgive the state of Michigan for being excited about the 2023 Detroit Lions. The franchise has not won a playoff game since 1991 and hasn’t won a championship since 1957 when they claimed a 59-14 win over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game. 

The Lombardi Trophy has alluded them for nearly six decades, and their current 13.5-win pace (as of 10/12) would be their most successful season since they debuted as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1930, nearly 100 years ago.

All this is to say that fans are excited. Michigan ranked sixth on the list of states searching for Super Bowl tickets, and second among states that house an NFL team (Nevada being first, for obvious reasons). We’re going to carefully assume that this is the state’s highest ranking in quite some time considering they’ve averaged 5.2 wins over the previous five seasons. It’s clear Michiganders don’t want to miss the team’s potential first Super Bowl appearance despite being more than 2,000 miles away from this year’s host site.

Proximity to Vegas—Not Team Results—Litters The Leaderboard

We were surprised that none of the states that house the five most serious contenders—Pennsylvania (Eagles), California (49ers), Missouri (Chiefs), New York (Bills), and Michigan (Lions) cracked the top-5, and only Michigan cracked the top 15 states.

Instead, proximity to Las Vegas reigned supreme in the rankings. Nevada paced the competition as we expected when we sat down to do the research, but we were stunned to see bordering states Arizona (12th), Utah (10th), and Idaho (8th) on the list—and (relatively) nearby Wyoming (2nd) and New Mexico (7th) also made the cut. 

Only one of those states houses an NFL team, and the rebuilding Cardinals currently have the worst Super Bowl odds in the NFL.

Not seeing California was another surprise for a few reasons. First, the 49ers are arguably the NFL’s best team, and San Francisco is a quick 90-minute flight away from Las Vegas. 

The Los Angeles Chargers are also a contender in the AFC behind budding star Justin Herbert, and LA hosted the Super Bowl just two short years ago—won by the third team in The Golden State, the Los Angeles Rams. Apparently, the hype hasn’t quite carried over.

Alaska and Hawaii Are Yearning to See the NFL

Prior to 2016, the best chance to catch NFL players in action in Hawaii was for the annual Pro Bowl, which was held in Honolulu 35 different times from 1979 to 2016. The NFL shifted the annual game to Orlando in Camping World Stadium beginning in 2017, and it has since made stops in Las Vegas in 2021 and 2022 (and is headed back to Orlando in 2023).

For Hawaiians, it marked the end of an era—and the story got sadder as Aloha Stadium is set to be torn down sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. While the state has committed $400 million to the development of a new stadium, the NFL has no plans to return to the islands for its annual showcase game. Hawaiians, then, are taking matters into their own hands. With the Super Bowl being played out West in 2023, they ranked third among all states in searches for tickets—it’s a relatively short 6-hour flight to get to Sin City from the main islands.

As for Alaska, there are obviously no professional teams there, and there aren’t any Division I, II, or III collegiate football teams. Needless to say, Alaskans are hungry for some NFL. And while the Canadian Football League offers a quicker drive or flight—the BC Lions in Vancouver are the nearest pro team—Alaskans are hell-bent on making the 5.5-hour flight to see the Super Bowl, ranking an impressive third in our rankings of ticket searches.

Commanders, Ravens, Panthers Fans Believe In Their Teams

We mentioned that the states housing the league’s biggest contenders didn’t show up on our list, but we’ve got two passionate fan bases that did. The District of Columbia ranked ninth despite the Commanders’ turbulent start to the season in a difficult NFC East, and Maryland checked in at No. 11 as the Ravens battle for a second consecutive AFC North Division title. 

The postseason has been unkind to Lamar Jackson and Co., with the signal caller 1-4 in his young career, but perhaps this is the year they break through—we know the fans believe in them based on these rankings. As for the Commanders, maybe fans in the nation’s capital simply love a good party. It’s unlikely they see their team playing for a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 1991.

As for the Panthers, well this one is a head-scratcher. We’re big fans of Bryce Young and the No. 1 pick’s future potential, but Carolina is tied with Arizona for the worst Super Bowl odds in the league. What’s more, Charlotte is a whopping 2,000 miles away from Las Vegas, so it’s not as if fans in the state are making a short trek to Sin City. I guess this rests the case that there’s nothing quite like blind NFL fandom.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.