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‘Crazy right now’: Las Vegas 49ers, Chiefs bars expect massive Super Bowl demand

The telephones of the Las Vegas bars devoted to fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers have been ringing off the hook since the match up for Super Bowl 58 was set last Sunday.

Owners of Blue Diamond Saloon and Jackpot Bar and Grill, both Kansas City Chiefs bars and Joey’s Tavern, a San Francisco 49ers bar, plan to call in most of their employees to work and fill their venues to capacity during the big game.

And it’s not like the owners aren’t used to it. Both the Chiefs and the 49ers have been in the playoffs every year since 2021.

“Last year was really exciting, and with the game being in town, and having a lot more Chiefs fans in town, I think it’s just going to be much more extraordinary,” said Jeff Frederick, who co-owns Jackpot Bar and Grill with his wife Liza. “We’re getting a lot of phone calls from Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.”

Joey Johnson, owner of Joey’s Tavern, said he has had many calls from 49ers fans from California and the rest of the country about reserving space. He said he expects more than 500 fans may try to watch the game at his bar.

The fan bars will serve as a good backup for some of the estimated 330,000 people traveling to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl who don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a ticket.

“If they can’t get tickets, they’re already planning on coming here,” Johnson said. “We’ve got people wanting to rent out the whole building, it’s just a little crazy right now.”

Blue Diamond Saloon is well prepared for fans on Super Bowl Sunday, co-owner and General Manager Steven Green said, as Las Vegas has long been a popular destination for football fans during big game weekend.

His bar can only accommodate about 100 people, so they expect to have to turn away fans on game day like they did last year when the Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.

Each of the bar owners said they expect to sell their limited number of seats for the Super Bowl to fans who want a guaranteed spot for the game and have a minimum spend limit for fans who are in the standing room only sections.

“Every seat is going to be a premium,” Frederick said.

Extra demand

All three bar owners said they are calling in most of their employees to work during Super Bowl 58 to meet the customer demand and staffing levels will be twice their usual level for NFL Sundays.

Both Joey’s Tavern and Jackpot Bar and Grill are looking for ways to increase their capacity to accommodate more fans.

Jackpot Bar and Grill is opening its second floor to host a watch party while Joey’s Tavern will host a tailgate in its parking lot and use the building as a special VIP area for its watch party.

The last time Joey’s Tavern held a tailgate for a 49ers game was when the team last made the Super Bowl in 2020 and based on that experience Johnson said he expects the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday will be an “all-day party.”

“We literally had those big tour buses pulling through here (in 2020), five or six of them dropping people off, just for the tailgate we did back then,” Johnson said.

Football season is the busy season

The football season provides a bump in revenue for the fan bars, and all three have been seeing the residual benefits of supporting winning teams.

Blue Diamond Saloon has been a Chiefs bar since it first opened in 2000 and has seen the team go from the bottom of the NFL standings to a perennial contender which has helped business on NFL Sundays, Green said.

“There were some very mean lean years where you could get like a dozen people in here to watch the (Chiefs) game,” he said. “Now, it’s been big.”

Joey’s Tavern opened in 2010 and has been a 49ers bar for the last nine years since the fan group North Vegas Faithfuls approached Johnson about making it a fan bar. This move resulted in the bar being packed “wall to wall” each Sunday to the point where employees need to use referee whistles to create a path for themselves in the crowd, Johnson said.

Jackpot Bar and Grill first opened in 2016 but has been a Kansas City Chiefs bar for the last two seasons since Frederick, a lifelong Chiefs fan, realized from personal experience that not every Chiefs fan can get into the Blue Diamond Saloon during game day. The pivot has boosted business and made it a destination for fans visiting Vegas. Frederick estimates that two-thirds of Chiefs fans at the Jackpot Bar and Grill on any given Sunday are tourists.

“It’s always way busier in football season,” Frederick said. “I almost guarantee that every sports bar in Las Vegas has the same thing, football season is always a good time.”

Super Bowl predictions

All three bar owners say they aren’t going into the game with any undue animosity towards the opposing team and expect a handful of opposing fans could show up at their bars. But each owner said they expect their team to win the big game.

Both Green and Frederick predicted it will be a close game but that the Chiefs will get back-to-back Super Bowl wins, even though they are the betting underdog.

“Why the Chiefs are an underdog it’s beyond me, but I think they’re going to use that as a motivation to play better,” Frederick said. “I think it’s gonna be a really good game, I think both teams are very well balanced.”

“I really think that the Chiefs are peaking at the right time, they just seem to look better in the playoffs as they go along,” Green said.

Johnson is predicting a 49ers victory far greater than the current betting spread of 1 point.

“I think they’ll win by 14 points,” he said. “We were actually interviewed by a TV station out of San Jose (in the preseason) and were talking about the 49ers making it all the way this year since they had all that (motivation) from the previous season losing to the Eagles.”

But no matter the result of the game, each bar is hoping for a busy Super Bowl Sunday.

“We love sports,” Johnson said. “Everybody loves sports, both personally and for business. It brings people together.”

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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