The idea was to serve up a goodwill gesture: Throw a Super Bowl viewing party Sunday at Earthquakes Stadium for local 49ers fans not in Miami but who want to enjoy a community atmosphere while watching Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. take on Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City.
Then the suits from the NFL stepped in and said no can do.
According to the Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan, the league cited the event’s possibility of a watch party deflating TV ratings as a reason for nixing the event.
“Given the game is expected to be watched by around 100 million people across the US, it seems a little mean-spirited,” Keegan wrote.
An NFL spokesman did not immediately respond to a request to address the issue but to be fair, the league’s communication staff works overtime on Super Bowl weekend.
A 49ers’ official declined to comment about the plan to show the game on the Earthquakes’ big screen that sits above what Bay Area soccer fans affectionally call the LOBINA — the longest bar in North America.
A similar event planned for Kansas City also was scratched by the NFL, according to a league source, who said the league usually prohibits teams from sponsoring Super Bowl watch parties. Furthermore, NFL officials are not permitting tailgate parties at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami for Super Bowl LIV.
“This is not anything new and has been the same for previous Super Bowls, including those in Miami,” NFL executive Brian McCarthy told CBS4 News in Miami.
The Quakes enjoyed resounding success with their free viewing parties for the 2018 men’s World Cup and the 2019 women’s tournament. Team officials said they drew more than 50,000 people to the stadium when showing all 52 men’s games from Russia. An executive directed questions about the proposed Super Bowl viewing party to the 49ers.
San Francisco held viewing parties last month for the playoffs as Levi’s Stadium set attendance records in the divisional game and again in the NFC Championship two weeks ago.