53°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Super Bowl 58: Las Vegas hosts OT thriller — BLOG, PHOTOS

Updated February 11, 2024 - 11:26 pm

Las Vegas hosted its first Super Bowl Sunday as the Chiefs defeated the 49ers at Allegiant Stadium. But the action wasn’t all on the gridiron. Follow our blog for all of the news and celebrations around the city as the world focused on Las Vegas.

8:57 p.m.

Fans celebrate, traffic clogs after game

Getting out of the parking garage at Harrah’s was a nightmare as many made a mad dash for their cars as soon as OT was over and others streamed out of the casino in all directions, and getting off the Strip was even worse with Chiefs fans honking, yelling and basically walking into traffic celebrating. But once you’re on Interstate 15 things are pretty much back to normal heading south.

It’s hard to imagine it getting much better as the night carries on. It’s a somber drive past Allegiant Stadium lit up at night, and there were scattered one-off fireworks going off around the city and cop cars all over, and all that is left is to either lick your wounds as a 49ers fan or celebrate into the early morning as a Chiefs fan.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

8:30 p.m.

Defeated? Dance it off

Some 49ers fans appear more at ease as they bump and dance to the drumming of a child playing along to an Elvis Crespo song.

Fans dance it off on the Fremont Street Experience after the Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bow ...
Fans dance it off on the Fremont Street Experience after the Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 58. (Ricardo Torres-Cortez/Las Vegs Review-Journal)

Overall, the mood at Fremont Street Experience feels positive. An adult drummer then hopped on the kit to play “La Chona,” a playful cumbia from Mexican band Los Tucanes de Tijuana.

Ricardo Torres-Cortez

8:26 p.m.

Rivals join together in dance outside MGM Grand

Despite the heartbreaking loss for the 49ers, a group of about 20 Chiefs and 49ers fans were dancing together to a street performer’s music outside of the MGM Grand.

Further up Las Vegas Blvd., Chiefs fans high-fived as they walked by each other.

— Taylor Avery

8:15 p.m.

Fremont Street party well underway

Las Vegas cover band Velvet Elvis entertains a sizable crowd from one of the Fremont Street Experience stages.

Chiefs fans spin pom poms, proudly fly their team’s flags and jump to the upbeat jams.

Spotted among the crowd, and equally enjoying themselves, are Packers, Eagles, Commanders and Vikings fans. A busker in an oversized gorilla suit accompanies them in shimmy.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

8:10 p.m.

Game’s over; party is not

Chiefs fan are singing — scratch that — SCREAMING along to a raucous take on Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite (And Party Every Day)” performed by a cover band in the Westgate Las Vegas Cabaret. The Big Game is over. The party is not.

— Jason Bracelin

8:05 p.m.

Niners fan hopeful for future

Tatiana and Khrys King are a married couple that traveled to Las Vegas from Worcester, Massachusetts to support the 49ers in the Super Bowl and watched the game at Joey’s Tavern. Shortly after the game they expressed disappointment over the result.

“I thought we were going to win,” Tatiana King said. “But we needed to capitalize on opportunities, we can’t settle for field goals and miss on third down.”

Although Super Bowl 59 is a year away the couple remained hopeful about the 49ers future.

“I always believe,” Tatiana King said.

“They do have a young core,” Khrys King said.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

8 p.m.

Victory party moves out to Fremont Street

The Fremont Street Experience is as packed and lively as it’s been all day. Ecstatic Chiefs fans shout, dance, jump and hug each other while a pair of men in 49ers apparel refused a handshake from a Chiefs fan.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

7:55 p.m.

Jubilation, despair at Circa

Fans begin to spill out of Circa moments after the Chiefs edged out the 49ers in a nail-bitter. Jubilant Chiefs fans cheered as many more 49ers supporters appear stone faced.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

7:55 p.m.

‘It’s like a dream for me’

Pepe Guerra, who was visiting Las Vegas from Mexico, said the ending to the game was “absolutely amazing.”

Guerra, who was in the MGM Grand and rooting for the Chiefs, said it was his first time in a city when the Super Bowl was being played there.

When asked what he thought of the overtime, he said he made a lot of new friends because of all the excitement.

“It‘s like a dream for me,” he said of the win.

— Taylor Avery

7:50 p.m.

Tense Caesars crowd dissolves after Chiefs win

And that’s the game. A horde of nearly 1,000 fans inside Caesars Palace grew restless as a very close game became even less certain with 15 minutes of overtime.

Taylor Swift’s on the winning team tonight, despite 49ers fans booing the sight of her any chance they got.

When it was decided, the crowd immediately dispersed and the tangible energy of the night seemed to break in half. Some celebrated and others sucked their teeth and took the loss.

— Alan Halaly

7:45 pm

Rowdy to heartbroken for SF fans

As soon as the Chiefs scored the game winning touchdown the 49ers fans at Joey’s Tavern went from loud and rowdy to quiet to the point where only the audio of CBS broadcast was heard. Fans are shuffling out of the Joey’s Tavern as confetti rains on the Chiefs victory.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

7:15 p.m.

A different sort of flight diversion

From Gate C7: “Does anybody want to go to Oakland or do you just want to watch the game?”

— Richard N. Velotta

7:15 p.m.

Tied … up in knots

The mixed crowd of fans outside of Resorts World’s sports book all had something in common as the game went into overtime: stressed body language.

— McKenna Ross

7 p.m.

Airport crowd not at TSA but at TV

With the game on the line, the crowd has grown around the bar at the C gates at Harry Reid International Airport.

An employee moving a passenger in a wheelchair through the area shouts,”Could you all please move closer to the bar, coming through … what’s the score?”

— Richard N. Velotta

6:52 pm

‘I feel like I’m dying’

49ers fan Alejandro Hamdan traveled from Torreón, Mexico to Las Vegas to watch the Super Bowl at Joey’s Tavern, he said it’s been a good experience but with the game tied at 16 late in the 4th quarter it’s getting stressful.

“I feel like I’m dying but I hope we can win,” Hamdan said shortly after the Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker tied the game at 16.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

6:24 p.m.

Fans rally as Chiefs take lead

Touchdown! A much needed lead change for the Kansas City Chiefs awakens the crowd watching in Resorts World’s food hall.

— McKenna Ross

6:15 p.m.

Shirtless man on field

A shirtless man was escorted off the field at Allegiant Stadium during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.

— Mick Akers

6 p.m.

Excitement palpable at Circa as play resumes

Circa appears to be the only downtown Las Vegas casino carding attendees at the entrance. Spillover viewers from the packed sportsbook are gathered in front a lengthy wall of televisions at an adjacent mega bar.

The excitement here is palpable as the third quarter of game is well underway, and audible boos erupted when Taylor Swift appeared on camera.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

5:58 p.m.

New Niner fan activity: razzing Swift

Not everyone is a Taylor Swift fan today.

As the Super Bowl goes into a commercial break in the third quarter of the game and the CBS broadcast briefly shows Taylor Swift 49ers fans in Joey’s Tavern lightheartedly boo and put their thumbs down at the singer.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

5:55 p.m.

Satellite feed lets some travelers see game

Two Southwest Airlines flight attendants said they didn’t mind working on Super Bowl Sunday because they actually did get to see some of the game on a cross-country flight from Baltimore to Las Vegas.

Thanks to partnerships several airlines have with DirecTV, the game is offered live in real time and passengers on flights with planes equipped to receive the satellite feed can watch the broadcast of the game.

— Richard N. Velotta

5:45 p.m.

Interception energizes Niner faithful

Joey’s Tavern, a bar for 49ers fans in Las Vegas, is Huge energy starting with the second half. Everyone in the crowd was jumping for joy after an interception was thrown by the Chiefs.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

5:45 p.m.

Fremont Street still lively, but fans inside

With one half of football to go, the Fremont Street Experience remains lively but with way fewer Chiefs and 49ers jerseys among the crowd. Football fans are likely hunkered inside the casinos for watch parties.

There is, however, an increased presence or uniformed police officers patrolling the walkways, compared to earlier in the day.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

5:40 p.m.

Usher has fans dancing at Caesars

Usher and his many supporting acts were a hit for the crowd outside Caesars Palace, turning the Green Fairy Garden into a dance floor.

Football fans of all ages were watching the outdoor televisions like moths to a flame, jumping and cheering as the artist went through his greatest hits.

“You better sing!” one group of friends yelled, bopping their heads and filming on their phones.

— Alan Halaly

5:30 p.m.

TSA: Put those programs in your carry-on bag

The Transportation Security Administration is telling passengers leaving the city by plane not to pack their Super Bowl game programs in their suitcases when they leave Las Vegas.

The reason: The glossy pages of the program can set off a security alarm when the suitcases pass through baggage-check equipment.

“This is true at any sporting or other event where glossy paper programs are sold,” said Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson for the TSA.

She recommends that travelers instead pack their programs in their carry-on bags.

“Placing programs in checked luggage may cause the security screening equipment to unnecessarily alarm and potentially cause delays in checked baggage operations,” Dankers said.

The TSA is gearing for what potentially could be the busiest day for passenger screenings at Reid with 115,000 projected to pass through checkpoints Monday with another high number anticipated Tuesday. The TSA has promised to have every checkpoint line open for 48 straight hours to accommodate the heavy volume.

— Richard N. Velotta

5:30 p.m.

Usher’s halftime show scores with fans

At the Mandalay Bay Eyecandy Bar, fans sing and dance to Usher’s halftime performance, many fans’ singing, voices harmonizing as they echo across the casino floor. Fans begin screaming and cheering as Usher takes his shirt off.

Many seats at machines are empty.

As Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What” plays, much of the bar and surrounding crowd turns into a full blown party, with fans dancing and waving towels above their heads.

— Taylor Avery

5:08 p.m.

Chiefs fans subdued as first half ends

Chiefs fans at the Jackpot Bar and Grill clap politely as Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker scores Kansas City’s first points. But the energy of Chiefs fans feel tense as they trail going in the half.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

5:03 p.m.

Usher prepped for halftime show

Usher followed multiple waves of performers through the service level of Allegiant Stadium ahead of his much-anticipated halftime performance.

To get him hyped for his show, a James Brown song was played as he walked toward the field.

— Mick Akers

4:50 p.m.

First touchdown fuels Niner euphoria

After the 49ers made their first touchdown of the game, a large majority of the crowd gathered near MGM Grand’s food court roared tremendously. Fans began chanting “Let’s go Niners” as many jumped up and down with excitement.

— Taylor Avery

4:47 p.m.

Niners ruling the roost at Harrah’s

There is no denying San Francisco 49ers fans are louder at Harrah’s. Every play for the team, or when the Chiefs mess up, is sending fans into a frenzy. There has also never been a louder cheer heard for a field goal.

There’s TVs everywhere and a neat trick is grabbing a slot machine chair and pulling it up to a screen. Fans are congregating around areas with TVs and high-fiving each other.

Foot traffic has largely stopped, this game is serious business and even Taylor Swift got boos when she was shown on the screen.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

4:45 p.m.

No ticket, no problem

Despite the many, many ticketed watch parties, about 100 people are watching the game on TV screens and projectors in Resorts World’s Famous Foods Street Eats.

San Francisco fans seem to outnumber Kansas City fans here, based on crowd reactions to the plays.

Louisiana native Howard Kelly was watching the game from the food hall, sporting the jersey of #32, running back Tyrion Davis-Price, a friend he and his travel partner were supporting. Kelly said he’d been to other Super Bowls and said the atmosphere in town was perfect for the big game.

“If I had to choose a Super Bowl to go to, it’d be this one,” Kelly said. There were so many 49ers fans, “it’s practically a home game.”

— McKenna Ross

4:25 p.m.

All eyes on the game at El Cortez

Every television at the bustling, historic El Cortez casino is tuned into the big game. The modest-sized sportsbook is packed by competing crowds that loudly cheered big, back-to-back plays by both teams.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

4:18 p.m.

Chiefs fan predicts more hitting than scoring

After a defensive battle in the first quarter Kansas City Chiefs super fan said she is predicting more hitting than scoring for the rest of the game.

“I expect a lot of defense today but the Chiefs will still be winning by the end,” Allen said.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

4:15 p.m.

Travelers enjoying big game, too

Yes, there are Super Bowl fans enjoying the game while they wait for their flights.

At the C gates, from which Southwest Airlines flights depart, there are two bars, one with seats and one with standing room. Every once in a while, a group of fans lets out a whoop when something exciting happens. In the first half, cheers erupted after a pair of fumbles.

One of Southwest’s gates are decorated with goal posts and balloons in a salute to the location of the game.

Most of the gate areas are filled with passengers oblivious to the big game going on just a half-mile away. Compared with fans in the airport Saturday and earlier Sunday, few are wearing 49ers or Chiefs fan gear.

A retail outlet in the C concourse is selling Super Bowl souvenirs for 25 percent off today.

— Richard N. Velotta

4:08 p.m.

Huge crowd at MGM Grand

Pedestrian traffic on sidewalks and bridges near the south Strip quieted down after the game’s kickoff.

Not everywhere was quiet, though. Inside MGM Grand, fans for both sides had piled in to watch the game at TVs in its food court.

— Taylor Avery

3:52 p.m.

Game time greeted with cheers

In the Beerhaus plaza, fans filled tables, chairs and concrete steps to watch the big game on the restaurant’s several outdoor TVs.

Cheers from fans filled the entire plaza as the game kicked off.

— Taylor Avery

3:45 p.m.

Governor at the big game

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo is at the big game.

Lombardo, former Clark County sheriff, posted a couple of photos from Allegiant Stadium on X, but didn’t stress any team allegiances.

“It’s already been a Super Bowl like no other! Las Vegas does it right. Let’s go! #SBLVIII.”

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

3:35 p.m.

A huge cheer

All the fans at the Jackpot Bar and Grill are seated and ready for the game. A huge cheer broke out as the Kansas City Chiefs won the opening coin toss.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

3:30 p.m.

Boos for the Chiefs

It’s 49ers country outside Caesars Palace before kickoff, where hundreds are huddled together around two screens watching the beginning of the game.

If the bountiful red jerseys weren’t telling enough, there’s also a chorus of boos prompted after every frame of a Chiefs player.

As Reba McEntire sang the national anthem and people took off their hats, fans cheered and caught a glimpse of the jets on their way to Allegiant Stadium.

— Alan Halaly

3:20 p.m.

Scramble to find a TV

Now that it’s close to kickoff, the scramble begins at the airport to find a television to watch the game for travelers leaving.

On the public side of the Transportation Security Administration security line, there are three televisions in a common eating area for three food outlets. There aren’t too many seats available. But it’s likely most of the people sitting will be moving on to catch their flights at some point.

What’s available on the secure side of the TSA line?

– Richard N. Velotta

3:27 p.m.

Anticipation grows

The crowd stood for the national anthem and was pleasantly surprised when the fighter jets headed toward Allegiant Stadium zoomed past the Container Park watch party. The cheers grew louder when Reba McEntire finished her patriotic rendition. Anticipation grows moments before kickoff.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

3:25 p.m.

Not aware Vegas was hosting Super Bowl

Not everybody arriving at Harry Reid International Airport is here for the Super Bowl.

Denver-area residents Lee Ellon Baughman and Brenda Dryburgh arrived on a Southwest flight from Denver at around 1 p.m. They didn’t realize until after purchasing the tickets that Las Vegas was hosting the big game hours after their arrival.

“I had some flight credits on Southwest and said, ‘Hey, let’s go someplace fun for a little vacation,’” Dryburgh said.

They said they lucked out in finding a relatively inexpensive hotel room at Treasure Island – hotel room rates went down around midweek for nights right after the game.

While they’re here, the travelers plan to see Donny Osmond’s show at Harrah’s and maybe a Cirque du Soleil performance. They’re big fans of Barry Manilow and have come to Las Vegas for his shows – but not this time.

Baughman and Dryburgh said they were joined on the flight from Denver by UNLV’s ice hockey team, which swept a two-game series with Colorado State over the weekend.

They said there weren’t very many people on the flight so no one had a middle seat.

The flight crew acknowledged that they were flying on Super Bowl Sunday with the captain joking in an announcement that “49ers fans should sit on one side of the plane and Chiefs fans on the other.”

One flight attendant said she supported “Team Taylor Swift.”

The flight was continuing on to San Francisco and a crew member said, “Tomorrow morning, you’re either going to wake up very happy or very sad.”

— Richard N. Velotta

3:20 p.m.

Far from the action

So close, yet so far from the action, a crowd of football fans gathered for an outdoor watch party at Container Park in downtown Las Vegas. The mostly 49ers crowd erupted when their team was introduced and booed when the Chiefs were mentioned.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

3:15 p.m.

‘I’ve been to about 20 of these’

“I’ve been to about 20 of these,” Kevin Cress of Dallas said of Las Vegas watch parties.

The 50-year-old, wearing a 49ers jersey, said he would have been here anyway, but his team being in the game made it more special.

Cress had a front-row seat in the Circa sports book, which is about like having your eyeballs pressed against an IMAX screen. He said he’d made 10 different $100 bets so far.

— Christopher Lawrence

2:58 p.m.

Buzzes coming from ticketed watch parties

The casino floors have gotten noticeably quieter as kickoff gets closer, with buzzes coming from ticketed watch parties and private events.

For Kansas City Chiefs fans anticipating a post-game party, it may be worth staking out Resorts World — where friends and family of the Chiefs are staying. Zouk Nightclub was closed for a mysterious private event.

— McKenna Ross

2:40 p.m.

‘Atmosphere here is upbeat and awesome’

The Kansas City Chiefs fan bar, the Jackpot Bar and Grill, has reached its capacity about an hour before the Super Bowl with Chiefs fans patiently waiting for the game to start.

Tyler Brannan and Martin Menninger both flew in from Kansas City to Las Vegas to watch the Super Bowl at the Jackpot Bar and Grill since they both wanted to have a unique viewing experience.

“This place has exceeded my expectations, the atmosphere here is upbeat and awesome,” Menninger said.

Both fans predicted the Chiefs would win its second straight Super Bowl and that Patrick Mahomes would win the Super Bowl MVP trophy.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

2:35 p.m.

Enforcement lax

Enforcement of an ordinance banning stopping and standing on Strip pedestrian bridges seemed lax Sunday afternoon.

On a South strip bridge, a man with a small table was encouraging a group of about 15 people to play a version of three-card monte with bottle caps.

Farther down the bridge, a man was selling Chiefs and 49ers merchandise off of a folding table. Even farther down the bridge, a group of men brandished signs protesting circumcision.

— Taylor Avery

2:30 p.m.

’Enjoy the game responsibly’

Posting a photo of Nevada Highway Patrol troopers escorting team buses, the agency took the opportunity to remind motorists not to drive impaired. The Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office echoed the message.

“We are wishing everyone a fun and safe Super Bowl 58,” Metro wrote on X. “Remember to celebrate responsibility! #DriverHighGetADUI #StopDUI #VisionZero #IKnewYouWereTrouble #YouNeedToCalmDown.”

“Super Bowl Sunday is finally here! We want to remind everyone in town to enjoy the game responsibly, keep our roads safe (don’t drink and drive), and if you see something say something,” the attorney general’s office posted on X.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

2:27 p.m.

Early favorite team at Circa?

Circa seems to have an early favorite team, as boos drowned out the first scenes of Patrick Mahomes taking the field at Allegiant Stadium.

That was up in the cheap(er) seats and the standing room on the upper deck of the sportsbook, though.

There’s no word yet from the high rollers down below, who couldn’t be heard from up there.

— Christopher Lawrence

2:25 p.m.

Mahomes jerseys popular on Strip

Julian Redard, who is manning an official Super Bowl merchandise booth at Harrah’s, said it looks like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes jerseys are now sold out at all five of their locations on the Strip.

He said they also sold out of Nick Bosa jerseys but got reinforcements and Deebo Samuel jerseys are also hot commodities today.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

2:15 p.m.

Usher visits Historic Westside

Super Bowl Halftime Show performer Usher visited the Westside, a historic Black community in Las Vegas before the game.

Usher, whose full name is Usher Raymond, talked with CBS reporter Nathaniel Burleson about Las Vegas in the 1940s and 50s, when Black performers could perform in many Las Vegas casinos, but couldn’t eat, sleep or drink in them.

“I think about the fact that those incredible performers at that time had to walk in the back of all of these establishments,” Raymond said ahead of performing in Las Vegas at one of the largest sporting events in the world.

Raymond and Burleson also visited the historic Harrison House in the Westside, where Black performers like Sammy Davis Jr. would stay when they couldn’t stay on the Strip, and the old Moulin Rouge sign at the Neon Museum. The Moulin Rouge was Las Vegas’ first integrated hotel and casino.

“(The Moulin Rouge) was monumental for us,” Raymond said. “This idea that what has happened in Las Vegas with me, is a reflection of what (Black performers) offered to this city — I’m honored.”

— Taylor Lane

2:10 p.m.

‘Go Taylor, go Chiefs’

Born in Frankfurt, Germany Michelle Dancy, 41, lives in Las Vegas and works as a food server at the German-themed Hofbrauhaus on Tropicana.

For the Super Bowl, Dancy is working the “beer garden” which — despite the German folk music — is packed with football fans watching the pregame show.

Despite the swaths of Niners fans, Dancy seems drawn to the other side.

“Go Taylor, go Chiefs!” Dancy cheered.

“I’m a big Swiftie,” she assured me.

Then she’s off to another table of revelers.

— Peter S. Levitt

2:05 p.m.

‘The vibe here is like a dream world’

Fans inside Allegiant Stadium are describing the atmosphere as electric, insane, and amazing. It’s hard to believe it’s real, some said. Kansas City Chiefs fans Brian and Niki Switzer, both draped in red and orange long furry coats, were ready to watch their Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl for the second time since 2020.

“We’re gonna win 72 to one,” Brian Switzer declared, joking that he was ready to put money down on that prognostication. “Is there a gambling area anywhere?” he said. Niki Switzer described the vibe in the stadium as “epic, a lot of energy.”

Their friend Casey Wright, 41, of Kansas City, flew in Sunday morning to catch the Super Bowl after booking his trip Saturday night.

“The vibe here is like a dream world,” he said. “I’m pinching myself.”

— Brett Clarkson

2 p.m.

Super booked sportsbook

The Super Book is super booked: it’s hour-and-a -half before kick off and the massive Westgate sportsbook has already drawn an equally sizable crowd. According to Gordon Prouty, vice president of public and community relations at the Westgate, fans began lining up at 4 a.m. for seats, all of are long gone.

In the nearby Westgate Theater, here Barry Manilow normally holds court, another several thousand fans have filled the room to take in the Big Game.

— Jason Bracelin

1:55 p.m.

Vendors cashing in

Vendors at the Fremont Street Experience are cashing in on the Super Bowl spectacle. Dozens of fans can be seen with oversized plastic chains dangling from their necks, which are adorned with football helmets or large charms of the 49ers and Chiefs logos. An artist was spray painting art, with a piece of the Strip skyline and an over-imposed Super Bowl 58 logo showing as “sold.”

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

1:50 p.m.

Placing bets at Durango

More and more fans are coming into the Durango resort with just under two hours to kickoff.

Clay Montgomery, visiting Las Vegas from Houston, was filling out a prop bet sheet in the Durango Casino. Montgomery is confident the 49ers will win but he was still debating who he should place as his Super Bowl MVP.

“I’m trying to decide between Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, ” Montgomery said. “It won’t be (Brock) Purdy, I like him, but he won’t have an MVP game.”

After Montgomery places his bets, he plans to watch the Super Bowl at a relative’s house who lives in Las Vegas.

Also the Uber price from Durango to Allegiant Stadium is ranging from $27 – $54.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

1:45 p.m.

‘We love the Chiefs’

Gerardo Ortiz and his wife, Maria Marin, drove two days from Kansas City to be in Las Vegas for the big football game.

“We love the Chiefs,” Ortiz said. “They’re going to win.”

When asked why he thought they would win, he simply responded, “Because…hello?”

Ortiz said he and his wife, who were seated in full Chiefs’ regalia in Mandalay Bay, have been Chiefs fans since 1999.

Ortiz said the game and festivities are “totally different” in Vegas. He said there’s usually big tailgates where people drink and eat before going to the game, but he hadn’t seen the same in Vegas.

Ortiz and Marin were not attending the game Sunday afternoon. “Too expensive,” he said.

— Taylor Avery

1:45 p.m.

Waiting in line for watch party

Tee Stew and his girlfriend, who were decked out with 49ers gear, were part of a sizeable line waiting to enter a watch party at the Zai club on East Fremont.

They drove from Los Angeles Saturday and with other watch parties being sold out, they settled for the downtown Las Vegas venue at the last minute.

“Man, we’re ready to whoop on these Swifties and take it back; on the quest for six,” quipped Stew, who wore a retro gold 49ers jacket, referring to his team’s previous five championships.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

1:45 p.m.

‘This place is amazing’

Alan and Diane Downing of Hays, Kansas, bought plane tickets two months ago, hoping their Chiefs would make it to the Super Bowl.

Season ticket holders for 36 years, the Downings were settled into a center booth in the Circa sportsbook. Alan, 66, wore a Chiefs T-shirt under a sport coat emblazoned with the KC logo. Diane, 63, sported a sparkly Patrick Mahomes jersey.

The couple, who’ve been here since Thursday, scouted the sports book during a trip a year and a half ago.

“I think this place is amazing,” Alan said. Asked what he’s bet on the game so far, he replied, “$500 parlays here and there.”

— Christopher Lawrence

1:30 p.m.

‘Back here as soon as they can’

CBS Sports Super Bowl announcer Jim Nantz was asked about the NFL’s feeling about the Super Bowl in Las Vegas during the pregame show.

“I think they are going to want to bring it back here as soon as they can.”

That’s what Las Vegas organizers certainly like to hear.

The game will be played in New Orleans in 2025 and Santa Clara, California, in 2026. The 2027 location is undecided

— Marvin Clemons

1:27 p.m.

‘It’s perfect’

Wichita, Kansas resident Tara Goering sat waiting for a slot machine payout at the Fontainebleau decked out in her Kansas City red blazer and sparkly boots. They’ll be watching the game from the Fontainebleau’s watch party, Bleau Blitz, inside The Tavern sportsbook. She and her husband went to last year’s Super Bowl and decided to do the watch party this year because they wanted to enjoy the hotel.

“Vegas has everything for the Super Bowl, it’s perfect,” Goering said.

— McKenna Ross

1:01 p.m.

Slider taste off

At Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate on Super Bowl Sunday 2024 in Las Vegas, famed restaurateur Guy Fieri and football legend Eli Manning took to the stage to compete in a slider taste off judged by four fans.

Czar Burger Sliders from Forte Tapas Bar & Bistro of Las Vegas at Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate, ...
Czar Burger Sliders from Forte Tapas Bar & Bistro of Las Vegas at Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate, presented by famed restaurateur Guy Fieri, on Super Bowl Sunday 2024 in Vegas. (Johnathan L. Wright/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Fieri’s mac and cheese slider and Manning’s pretzel slider tied with two votes each. After that, Fieri and Manning autographed footballs, then threw them into the crowd to the veterans, first responders, graduates of UNLV, where Fieri went to college, and others. Two fans almost came to blows over a football they both caught.

— Johnathan Wright

1 p.m.

Finding a Raiders fan

Walked the Strip between the Wynn and Harrah’s, and it took a solid 45 minutes to find a fan in a Las Vegas Raiders jersey.

Joe Ramirez is from Los Angeles and said he hopes the Raiders can make the Super Bowl as early as next season.

“Screw the Chiefs. They are our division rivals, so I’m cheering for the 49ers,” he said. “We are looking good and got a new coach and he’s from the hood so I think we will do much better next year.”

— Patrick Blennerhassett

12:45 p.m.

TUDN at Caesars

Outside Caesars Palace, Spanish-language network TUDN has brought a group of fans on TV to stand behind them as they talk about the game pre-show.

At one point, a TV personality became a rock star as he jumped into a crowd and fans cheered while holding him up.

“Arriba Los Tigres del Norte!” one 49ers fan yelled, likely in reference to the band from California that has been vocal of their support for the team.

Planes form to spell out “ALLEGIANT PILOT CONTRACT NOW,” a form of protest as Allegiant Air ...
Planes form to spell out “ALLEGIANT PILOT CONTRACT NOW,” a form of protest as Allegiant Air pilots continue to strike for better wages. (Alan Halaly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The anchors gazed up at the sky in shock in the middle of one broadcast, noticing that planes have formed to spell out “ALLEGIANT PILOT CONTRACT NOW,” a form of protest as Allegiant Air pilots continue to strike for better wages.

— Alan Halaly

12:45 p.m.

‘Worry about cost later’

Like hundreds of thousands of other Las Vegas visitors adorned in red and white, a trio of San Jose, California, residents had to make the trip just to take in the Super Bowl atmosphere. Tickets weren’t even a consideration because of the crazy prices.

Husband and wife Louie and Anna Armendariz and his sister Celina had an early sandwich for lunch at the Fashion Show Mall late Strip Sunday morning.

Fashion show mall

“My sister suggested we go just to be here,” Louie said, wearing his No. 8 Steve Young jersey. Anna roots for the Raiders and was wearing black. “We’ll worry about the cost later.”

Louie says his San Francisco 49ers defense has Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes “figured out.”

“He’s great and a special player,” he said. “We haven’t had great defense the past few games, but we will stop him and persevere in the end.”

-Marvin Clemons

12:41 p.m.

Kelce follows Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce arrived at Allegiant Stadium about an hour after quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Kelce is expected to have a special someone in the stands watching him take the field, with girlfriend Taylor Swift reportedly set to attend the Super Bowl.

-Mick Akers

12:38 p.m.

‘Pumped up’

Caroline Funkhouser, 33, and Daniel Wilson-Hill, 30, were each wearing hoodies that said “Go Taylor’s Boyfriend.”

Caroline Funkhouser, 33, and Daniel Wilson-Hill, 30, of North Carolina, stand outside Allegiant ...
Caroline Funkhouser, 33, and Daniel Wilson-Hill, 30, of North Carolina, stand outside Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11, 2024. (Brett Clarkson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The two, who are from North Carolina, are Panthers fans. But because their team isn’t the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are the next best thing, although they wouldn’t necessarily mind if the 49ers won, either.

They just wanted to take in a Super Bowl. Funkhouser said she paid $16,000 for two tickets. Because of that price, it’ll be her first and last Super Bowl, she said, adding that it would literally be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And while Funkhouser and Wilson-Hill wouldn’t describe themselves as Swifites, they said they support strong women like Swift.

“I was like, let’s just be more ridiculous,” Wilson-Hill said, explaining that the hoodies were more ironic than anything.

“The vibe feels just pumped up,” Funkhouser said of the atmosphere in Las Vegas ahead of the Super Bowl.

-Brett Clarkson

SB drinks

12:35 p.m.

Taylor and Travis cocktails

Circa wasn’t about to miss out on the frenzy surrounding Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

For every Circa Sports prop bet placed on Kelce for at least $22, bettors can get a free Taylor- or Travis-inspired cocktail at Vegas Vickie’s.

The Shake It Offside is Ketel One Peach and Orange Blossom, strawberry, raspberry and lime.

The 87 Era, meanwhile, is Gentleman Jack, Aperol, Cocchi Americano and dry vermouth.

Considering those cocktails cost $18 each, this may be one of the weekend’s best deals.

-Christopher Lawrence

Fremont street experience

12:25 p.m.

Day drinking, live music and football

The Fremont Steet Experience is experiencing a party atmosphere regularly reserved for downtown Las Vegas nights. Bands on competing stages are strumming, drumming and belting country and 90s rock songs. Fans are dancing and raising their drinks. The iconic canopy is flashing images of Chiefs and 49ers players.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez

12:20 p.m.

Flav leading cheers

Flava Flav on turntable leads the crowd in singing along to a mix that includes “Poison,” the 1990 hit from Bell Biv DeVoe. Flav is also leading cheers for the Chiefs and the 49ers at Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate on Super Bowl Sunday 2024 in Las Vegas. Flav is heading to Allegiant Stadium for the game.

-Johnathan Wright

12:15 a.m.

‘Dream come true’

There is a party-like atmosphere at the Kansas City Chiefs fan area outside Allegiant Stadium, where hundreds of fans are gathering and hanging out, drinking beer, and taking photos with the Chiefs Cheerleaders.

Luis Morales, 41, and Mauricio Hernandez, 39, traveled from Mexico City for the Super Bowl. They said they each paid $6,500 for their seats.

Morales, a Chiefs fan, will be attending his third Super Bowl, while Hernandez, a 49ers fan, will be at his first.

“Awesome,” Hernandez said about the atmosphere outside the stadium. “The American football culture in the U.S.A., I love it. For us, this is a dream come true.”

-Brett Clarkson

12:09 p.m.

A culinary distinction

Inside the “Black Tap” pub just off the Venetian sportsbook, San Francisco fans outnumber Kansas City fans.

At least that’s what bartender Michael Tynsdale, 27, thinks.

Tynsdale was born and raised in Las Vegas.

He doesn’t care too much about who wins the game.

But in terms of the crowd’s culinary choices, Tynsdale noted an interesting trend.

“They order a lot of salad,” he said, pointing to a gaggle of Niners fans.

-Peter S. Levitt

11:59 a.m.

Football with Fieri

Guy Fieri is going from booth to booth at Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate on Super Bowl Sunday 2024 in Las Vegas. Wherever he goes, he is trailed by camera crews, handlers, fans, and two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers.

Whenever he stops— including a quick plug for his condiments — fans rush over, lifting their smartphones aloft in unison. If a smart phone isn’t there to capture it, does something really happen?

-Johnathan Wright

Post Malone entered Allegiant Stadium just minutes after Patrick Mahomes and the first wave of ...
Post Malone entered Allegiant Stadium just minutes after Patrick Mahomes and the first wave of Kansas City Chiefs players on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

11:52 a.m.

Post Malone arrives

Post Malone entered Allegiant Stadium just minutes after Patrick Mahomes and the first wave of Chiefs players.

Post Malone is scheduled to perform “America the Beautiful” as part of the pregame festivities.

-Mick Akers

11:50 a.m.

Limited sportsbook seating

At MGM Grand, a line of about 20 people wearing both Chiefs and 49ers gear stood in line to sign up for the mobile betting app. Seating in the sportsbook was mostly full, but there were still a few seats open for those hoping to snag one before the game.

-Taylor Avery

11:45 a.m.

Representing Las Vegas

Mary Kay Lein is one of hundreds of volunteers working for the Super Bowl. She’s also a retired Clark County School District teacher with more than 30 years of teaching experience.

Hours before the game, a smiling Lein greeted fans, passed out free stickers and buttons, and offered to take their picture as they held a Nevada-themed Super Bowl frame.

The volunteer position doesn’t pay more than “a bottle of water and a bag of chips” but Lein has loved her four-hour shifts, helping, and has enjoyed meeting people from all over, she said.

“It’s something to do,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to represent your city, to be a hostess to your city.”

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez

11:45 a.m.

Place your bets

With more than three hours until kickoff there is a steady line of dozens of people waiting to place a bet at one of the newest Las Vegas sportsbooks in the Durango resort. It seems that more than half of the sportsbooks seating area is already full with fans.

The Durango resort is seen on Super Bowl Sunday. (Sean Hemmersmeier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Outside of the sportsbook area the Durango resort isn’t very crowded.

-Sean Hemmersmeier

mahomes

11:39 a.m.

Mahomes in the house

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes arrived at Allegaint Stadium about 4 hours ahead of kickoff.

Mahomes was on the first group of Chiefs buses arriving at the stadium. Star tight end Travis Kelce wasn’t among the initial group of arriving players.

-Mick Akers

couple brett clarkson

11:34 a.m.

‘Once in a lifetime’

Friends and 49ers fans David Giang, 45, and Susan Okada, 64, of San Francisco, will be sitting in seats that cost $2,600 each.

Worth it, both said.

okada

“Amazing! It’s once in a lifetime,” Giang said outside the stadium.

Both predicted a 49ers victory.

“This is the third time we’ve tried to get our sixth ring. It’s time,” Giang said.

Told that a Chiefs fan from St. Louis joked about how so many 49ers fans in Vegas were wasting their time, Giang had one thing to say.

“We’ll let the play on the field do the talking.”

-Brett Clarkson

11:30 a.m.

Fremont Street takeover

Football fans have taken over the Fremont Street Experience, and many are wearing their team’s apparel. Spotted among the crowd, obviously, were fans of the Chiefs and 49ers, but there were also people wearing gear from other franchises that were close to the big game, such as the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.

Raiders fans were also among the fateful in downtown Las Vegas.

-Ricardo Torres-Cortez

11:25 a.m.

Sold out watch parties?

Fans are out and about this Sunday morning, sporting their favorite team’s gear while checking out what the Strip has to offer them.

Some watch parties seem to be sold out — inside Miracle Mile Shops, restaurant Blondie’s prominently features a “Super Bowl sold out” sign as staff set up red and gold balloons for the festivities.

The Las Vegas Monorail seems to have taken a side today, sporting a design that says “Chiefs Kingdom” in all uppercase letters.

The county ordinance that could make it a misdemeanor to block traffic on pedestrian bridges is still going unenforced. Street performers are claiming their stake to make their earnings tonight and tourists continue to stop and take photos.

-Alan Halaly

patrick chiefs jerseys

11:25 a.m.

Which team has the most support?

It’s tough to make anything but a qualitative or anecdotal argument, but down around Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on the Strip, there seems to be more Kansas City Chiefs fans in jerseys than San Francisco 49ers fans.

However it must be noted that inside Harrah’s is definitely 49ers territory.

A quick count walking around shows Patrick Mahomes is the most popular jersey, followed by Travis Kelce, and then 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, but there’s also a smattering of people wearing jerseys from a host of teams – the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions, even a Seattle Seahawks fan. I have yet to see a Las Vegas Raiders jersey, but maybe don’t read too much into that one.

Chiefs fans were looking at Airbnbs in Las Vegas for this weekend three times more than 49ers fans, so maybe that’s a good way to count them: Chiefs fans outnumber 49ers fans three to one? I guess the real question is, how does one spot a Taylor Swift fan, or “Swifties”, as they are know?

-Patrick Blennerhassett

11:20 a.m.

Best watch party?

Richard Calderon was among the first guests through the doors when Circa Swim opened at 11 a.m.

The 47-year-old from Visalia, California, was dressed head to toe in Dallas Cowboys gear. “As long as the Niners lose,” he said, “I win.”

Calderon wanted to be close to the Super Bowl, but not too close, which is what brought him to Circa Swim.

“I heard so much about it, that it’s the best place to be for the watch party.”

With sunny skies and a temperature of 51 degrees, coats, hoodies and turtlenecks were the attire of choice for the early hours of the pool party, where general admission cost $300.

-Christopher Lawrence

11:15 a.m.

These fans got free tickets

On a crisp and sunny Super Bowl Sunday morning, fans are starting to trickle into Allegiant Stadium, including Jason and Heather Massoth of St. Louis, Missouri.

The couple got free tickets through Jason’s work and they’ll be sitting about 25 rows up from the field.

Jason Massoth checked how much he would’ve had to have paid for the tickets if they weren’t free.

“They were ten grand each,” Jason Massoth said. “Stupid.”

The conversation then turned to the game.

The Massoths, who are Chiefs fans, felt bad for all the 49ers fans who have been showing up in droves to Las Vegas. They predicted a blowout win.

“I don’t know why so many 49ers fans are here,” Heather Massoth said with a laugh. “They’re wasting their time!”

-Brett Clarkson

10:55 a.m.

‘Get your seat’

Both Joey’s Tavern, a San Francisco 49ers bar, and the Jackpot Bar and Grill, a Kansas City Chiefs bar, have some fans getting their spots in the bars several hours before the Super Bowl kicks off.

Jack Frederick, owner of the Jackpot, said he expects his bar to get full a few hours before the game starts.

“I’m texting people it’s starting to fill up, you better come in to get your seat,” Frederick said.

The owner of Joey’s Tavern, Joey Johnson, said the bar has sold out all the reserved seats for the game and the bar is still getting calls about people looking to find a place to watch the Super Bowl.

“It’s going to be fun,” Johnson said.

-Sean Hemmersmeier

10:50 a.m.

Traffic still light on Strip

It seems like fans are still sleeping off their hangovers. Both pedestrian and foot traffic were light heading north on the Strip from Flamingo Road — but plenty of guests were hailing rides at the Flamingo and Resorts World on Sunday morning. An Uber between the two resorts, a 2-mile ride, started at about $28.

-McKenna Ross

10:38 a.m.

‘Vegas is made for this’

Outside Harrah’s on the Strip, Raymond Takash sported a red Brock Purdy jersey.

Takash, 41, hails from Los Angeles. He, his wife and his friends checked into the Venetian on Friday.

“The Super Bowl should be here every year,” he said, taking in the scene. “Vegas is made for this.”

He expects the Niners to win a close game, but added that Travis Kelce may find an extra spark in Taylor Swift.

“She’s good for the game,” Takash said. “I’m not a hater.”

-Peter S. Levitt

10:16 a.m.

Taylor who?

Jerry Sapp, 57, of Columbia, Missouri, walked along the Strip outside the Venetian sporting an olive-drab top emblazoned with a Chiefs logo.

“We rented a cabana at Circa to watch the game,” Sapp said, peering ahead for his group.

Sapp, who has “been coming to Vegas for decades,” said he would be joined by more than a dozen other Chiefs fans in his cabana later today.

Asked who will win and whether Taylor Swift factor into the final score, Sapp shouted: “Chiefs!”

Then he feigns confusion. “Taylor who?”

-Peter S. Levitt

10:10 a.m.

Ready for things to pick up

Harry Reid International Airport is experiencing the calm before the storm.

Just like when the eye of a hurricane makes landfall, there’s not a lot of turmoil as there was before and after the storm hits.

For Reid, it was busy activity leading up to Saturday, followed by a relatively calm Sunday morning, then lots of activity Monday and Tuesday.

What will be going on while the game is played less than a half mile away?

We’ll see later today.

But for now, it’s a typically slow Sunday morning. On normal weekends, things start to pick up later in the day on Sunday, but because Super Bowl 58 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and likely last until close to 7 p.m., it’s going to be a different feel.

Uber driver Thomas said pickups and deliveries to the airport were slow for him this morning and he didn’t see a whole lot of activity on the Strip. But Strip employees he delivered to their jobs said Saturday activity was pretty robust with casinos filled with slot and table-game players and others getting their bets down at the sportsbooks.

–Richard N. Velotta

9 a.m.

Hefty parking prices

With no on-site parking at Allegiant Stadium for Sunday’s Super Bowl, fans who drive to the big game will pay hefty prices to park nearby.

Parking garage event prices at MGM Resorts properties, which kick in 4 hours before kickoff, will run fans $75 at the Luxor and $100 at Mandalay Bay.

Parking garage event prices at MGM Resorts properties, which kick in 4 hours before kickoff, wi ...
Parking garage event prices at MGM Resorts properties, which kick in 4 hours before kickoff, will run fans $75 at the Luxor and $100 at Mandalay Bay. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The two resorts flank Hacienda Avenue, where the bridge over Interstate 15 will serve as the main fan entrance to the Super Bowl.

-Mick Akers

9 a.m.

Heightened security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has classified Super Bowl 58 as a Special Event Assessment Rating Level 1 event, which means it qualifies it for extensive federal support.

More than 350 DHS personnel are involved in dedicated security operations in and around the Las Vegas area and more than 60 Transportation Security Administration explosive detection canines and their handlers are in town to assist with security operations at key venues throughout Las Vegas as well as at Harry Reid International Airport. These working canines are specially trained to detect explosives and explosive components.

Projections are also showing that more than 118,000 passengers returning home will flow through TSA checkpoints at Reid Airport Monday. Tuesday will continue to be busy with more than 85,000 departing passengers and crew expected through the security checkpoints.

All lanes are planned to be open at Terminal 1’s A/B, C Annex and C/D checkpoints and, at Terminal 3’s upper and lower checkpoints.

In addition, TSA will operate the Terminal 3 lower checkpoint on Sunday and Monday from 5 a.m. to midnight. On Tuesday, that checkpoint will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Agents have been briefed to know which sections of the airport will be busiest when, based on the number of flights departing by gate and will be ready to everybody out to their respective destinations.

– Richard N. Velotta

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST