Here's What to Expect for the 2021 Super Bowl
It’s not just football. It’s the Super Bowl. And if, like myself, you’ve been listening to The Weeknd on repeat — and I know you have — there’s a good reason to watch the show this year even if you’re not that much into televised sports.
The Super Bowl, the National Football League’s (NFL) final game to decide the championship, celebrates its 55th edition this year. It'll be the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The sports event is going ahead even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but — like so many other things in socially distanced times — it’ll be slightly different this time around.
When Is the 2021 Super Bowl?
Super Bowl LV is taking place on February 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, home to the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl hosted at their home stadium.
NFL on Location, which handles the event’s ticket sales, explains on its website that the tickets for attendees will be distributed in pods to support physical distancing between groups of ticketholders, "with the expectation that fans will be attending games with family members they have been sheltering with and/or with trusted acquaintances." The site also guarantees that if the event is canceled or played without fans present, the tickets will be refunded.
Where to Watch the Big Game
If you’re not too keen on traveling and attending an event — especially one of this scope — during pandemic times, you’ll always be able to watch the Super Bowl the way it was meant to be: from the comfort of your couch.
The game is expected to kick off on Sunday, February 7, 2021, at 6:30 pm ET. You’ll be able to watch it on regular TV on CBS or stream it on the CBS All Access online platform. CBS All Access is $5.99 a month, and you can currently try it for free for 7 days.
Who Will Be Performing During Halftime at the 2021 Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is much more than touchdowns, defensive formations, tackles and starting quarterbacks. And this year it won’t be different.
Tradition dictates there needs to be a big musical performance during halftime. The Canadian pop and R&B singer and songwriter The Weeknd will be headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show this year. The bar is pretty high after last year’s adrenaline-fueled halftime show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
But we’d say The Weeknd is up to the challenge. The three-time Grammy winner made headlines in 2020 when his song "Blinding Lights" broke the record for the most weeks at the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Radio Chart. The very danceable theme was also the most-streamed track on Spotify in 2020, with almost 1.6 billion streams. (I’ll confess to being the cause for at least a million of those.)
And even before halftime, the Super Bowl has much more to offer. This year, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, who recited a piece during President Joe Biden's inauguration, will deliver an original poem before the game.
What About the Event’s Famed Commercials?
And there’s more motivation to pay attention to the Super Bowl one more year: the commercials. Last year there were some solid new entries to the realm of the Super Bowl’s creative and celebrity-packed advertisements. We were privy to an adventurous version of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and a Jeep. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi showed us how much they rely on their virtual assistant, Alexa. Winona Ryder built her own website. And John Legend and Chrissy Teigen continued to be their most adorable and charming selves.
Celebrities and humor should be fixtures again in 2021. But we also expect some heartfelt commercials that address the health crisis we’ve all been living through. The other thing that we can expect to see for sure during the Super Bowl commercial breaks? Trailers for some of the major movie and TV releases of the year.
Will we get to see Timothée Chalamet brooding intensely in a new Dune trailer? What about Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh kicking some ass in a new Black Widow featurette? Only time will tell. But if the big game hopes to provide some of that renowned entertainment it’s known for — even in the midst of the pandemic — it’ll keep the surprises rolling in.