The corporatization of the Super Bowl has definitely created a vastly different crowd mix at games; far from being limited to fans of each team, the exorbitant ticket prices and sponsorships have led to thousands of wealthy, neutral attendees.
In a recent appearance on the Colin Cowherd podcast, Burrow said he was surprised at the crowd at the stadium after the playoff run where games are held at home stadiums.
Burrow definitely noticed the lack of specific fan support, saying that he and the Bengals felt like “the entertainment” at a dinner party.
“It felt like the dinner party, and we were the entertainment,” Burrow said. “Because, I mean, you come off a road game in Kansas City, a road game in Tennessee, and then your first home win in the playoffs in 30-something years. And then you go to the Super Bowl, and it’s more corporate.”
He continued, “It just took a second to get used to. It didn’t feel like a playoff football game. It was a weird feeling at the beginning for sure.”
While he might be right, it certainly was loud enough at some point for Burrow to need to cover his helmet to hear the signals.
It certainly makes sense that the game is a bit of an adjustment after the raucous atmospheres of road playoff games in Kansas City and Nashville, although it’s a bit more surprising he thought it was calm considering the game was played the Rams home stadium.
Seemingly the $7,000 average ticket price kept even well heeled Rams fans away.
But this is going to be the Super Bowl situation permanently going forward. The game has become such an event, and the NFL has become so dominant in the sports landscape, that there’s little to no chance of prices ever collapsing or team-specific fans taking over.
For better or for worse, corporate neutral site games are here to stay.
Burrow also said he’s put the loss behind him and is focused entirely on this season.
Based on the opening week overtime loss at home to the Steelers and Burrow’s four interceptions, he might have to focus even a bit more.