Feb 13, 2022 - Economy

Hollywood’s hometown Super Bowl

Photo: Maximilian Haupt/picture alliance via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — This year's Super Bowl, taking place in Los Angeles for the first time since 1993, has brought Hollywood back to life.

Why it matters: After two years of movie delays and muted award shows, Tinseltown was desperate for a comeback.

State of play: The game, taking place in the Los Angeles Rams’ brand new, state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium, represents a coming-out party for the city, which is planning to host the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2023, the Olympics in 2028 and possibly the World Cup in 2026.

The city's hometown team competing for the top title has added to the excitement.

  • The presence of big sports sponsors inspired entertainment executives to think of clever ways the two communities could come together.
  • "For CAA, this is a dream come true," one media executive joked, referring to the Creative Artists Agency, which represents roughly 2,000 athletes.
Photo: David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Driving the news: The week kicked off with a spattering of parties and events on Wednesday, followed by the annual NFL Honors Awards at SoFi Stadium on Thursday and two days of flashy parties and concerts on Friday and Saturday.

  • A-listers desperate to get in on the action could be seen all over town, bopping between Super Bowl parties and exclusive lunches and dinners.
  • Star athletes like Rob Gronkowski and Shaquille O’Neal hosted their own VIP parties and festivals with performances from Lil Wayne and Flo Rida.
  • Media and entertainment giants like Fanatics, DirecTV and Sports Illustrated hosted events with featured guests and celebrity performances, including Usher and the Chainsmokers.

COVID-19 restrictions hardly held anyone back. Most of the big parties checked for proof of vaccination, but barely anyone wore masks, even when required.

  • The game marked Hollywood’s “Miami moment,” one entertainment executive commented. The unusually warm weather all week also added to a feeling of euphoria.

The big picture: The Super Bowl has created an opportunity for the city to attract East Coast executives and dealmakers who had been avoiding travel out West, thanks to the pandemic.

  • In a bid to show off the city's attractions, the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission — which is driving the city's push to become the sports capital of the country — hosted an exclusive, full-park event at Universal Studios on Friday for the more than 5,000 credentialed members of the press covering the Super Bowl and surrounding events.

What to watch: While the entertainment and sports worlds continue to collide, tech also looms large in L.A.

  • SoFi Stadium, which opened during the pandemic, is named after a fintech company. The Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Kings, Lakers, Clippers and Sparks, was renamed Crypto.com Arena in November.

Go deeper: Celebrities dominate Super Bowl ads

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