Ready for Some Football (Stats)?: Super Bowl XLVI by the Numbers

Meg Handley
January 31, 2012

The Super Bowl isn't just a three-and-a-half hour football game punctuated by the year's best ads and a pyrotechnic halftime show. It's a symbol and a social event, a national display that transcends the sport itself.

And Americans pay a pretty penny to be a part of it all.

Figures vary, but tickets to get into Lucas Oil Stadium to watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots face off against Eli Manning and the New York Giants will set you back more than $4,000 on average, according to TiqIQ.

Even if you don't make the trip to Indianapolis to watch the game in person, consumers will still spend billions on snazzy new entertainment systems and even more to stock the fridge with snacks and beer for the game.

Here's a look at more numbers that drive the Super Bowl juggernaut:

111 million. The record-breaking number of viewers last year, according to Nielsen.

$11 billion. That's how much Americans are expected to shell out for Super Bowl goodies, ranging from football-shaped cakes to beer to personalized player jerseys. That's up from last year's total of around $10 billion, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association.

2 million. The number of pizzas Pizza Hut expects to serve up to hungry football fans Sunday. That amounts to 1,200 tons of dough and about 90,000 gallons of marinara sauce. Yum.

100 million. The number, in pounds, of chicken wings Americans will scarf down while watching the game, according to the National Chicken Council's 2012 Wing Report. That equates to 1.25 billion--yes, billion--wings, which if laid end-to-end, would circle the Earth more than twice. Pepto-Bismol, anyone?

1,200. The average number of calories the average armchair quarterback will consume, according to the Calorie Control Council, while wolfing down 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 2.5 million pounds of nuts.

12th. Where Indianapolis--the host city of Super Bowl XLVI--ranked on the list of the nation's most populous cities, according to the Census Bureau. The population of Indianapolis in 2010 was about 820,445.

$103,000. The average amount companies dole out per second for 30-second advertising spots during the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen. Last year's biggest advertisers were auto companies, followed by beer companies, motion pictures, soft drinks, and tortilla chips.


50 million. The estimated number of kilowatts of electricity Super Bowl-related activities will use.

10. The number of languages SiriusXM satellite radio will broadcast the Super Bowl in, the company announced Monday. Listeners can hear coverage in Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Hungarian among others.

7 million. The number of people who will "call in sick" on Monday after the game.

Twitter: @mmhandley

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