We’re a full day removed from what was the possibly the worst Super Bowl in history; a 60-minute defensive slog with 16 combined points—only one touchdown. The halftime show was disjointed and uninteresting, there were no real standouts among the commercials; my five-layer dip was cold. The Patriots emerged victorious to secure their sixth title, but the whole thing was bad from start to finish. The real winner from Super Bowl LIII was its host city, Atlanta, which turned years of planning into a glowing week-long feature of the city itself.
This was Atlanta’s third time hosting the Super Bowl, and from every review that I’ve read, they absolutely nailed it. Taking place in the sparkling new Mercedes-Benz Stadium (where a beer and a burger only cost $12, I might add), the lead-up to the big game served as a virtual advertisement for the City of Atlanta. There were festivities all week long that put the city’s rich and vibrant history on full display.
The historic sites, the must-eat-at restaurants, the local bar and music scene—all were elements that had their moment to shine in the countdown to kickoff.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had the following to say about Atlanta:
“The week was spectacular. Everything went as planned. We were just thrilled, truly grateful for Southern hospitality.”
The game may have been an absolute snoozer, but the city did not disappoint.
There’s rightful public criticism about hosting events such as the Super Bowl or the Olympics. It requires intensive planning, potentially a massive infrastructure overhaul, and loads of taxpayer money. When done right, however, it really can boost a city’s profile on the global stage. Atlanta appeared to do just that with their execution of the Super Bowl, and although it was only its third time hosting the game, it certainly won’t be the last.