13 minutes, $13 million: The logistics of pulling off a Tremendous Bowl halftime present

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The favored Tremendous Bowl halftime present is simply 13 minutes lengthy, however the million-dollar-a-minute extravaganza takes hundreds of individuals, months of planning and close to army precision to drag off.

FILE PHOTO: Singer Girl Gaga performs through the halftime present at Tremendous Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photograph

Organizers have the Herculean activity of turning a soccer subject right into a live performance venue and again in lower than half an hour, and with out damaging the enjoying floor.

Halftime at Sunday’s 54th Tremendous Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Miami might be headlined by Latina pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. It additionally will characteristic shock artists and different ensemble singers, mentioned Dan Parise, a producer working with Roc Nation, the leisure firm producing the present with the Nationwide Soccer League. 

PepsiCo (PEP.O) is sponsoring the present for the eighth straight 12 months. A supply with direct data of the present mentioned it could value about $13 million, a determine an NFL spokeswoman declined to verify.

“There are such a lot of points of it, the dancers, the lighting parts, the particular results,” mentioned Parise. “It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle.”

The work begins virtually a 12 months upfront, mentioned Mark Quenzel, the NFL’s senior vice chairman for programming and manufacturing. Organizers scout the venue for logistical hurdles or distinctive structural parts they might use to their benefit. 

In 2014, for instance, producers needed to preserve Bruno Mars’ present comparatively easy, as a result of it was inconceivable to foretell subject situations at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, a uncommon outside chilly climate Tremendous Bowl. 

This 12 months, mentioned Parise, a newly renovated overhang at Laborious Rock Stadium allowed for deployment of extra superior audio gear.

All in, the manufacturing takes 2,000 to three,000 individuals to provide, mentioned Quenzel, who’s on his 10th halftime present. 

Like previous performances, this 12 months’s present will embody an on-field “viewers” of some 800 individuals, principally children from native faculties who’re solid upfront, and should rehearse with the artists.

Usually, they’re requested to play a bigger position than that of cheering followers. Throughout Justin Timberlake’s 2018 rendition of “Mirrors,” the on-field crowd held up mirrors to mirror stadium lights.


The largest feat of coordination is organising the stage, which is wheeled in on 38 separate carts, every requiring 12 individuals to maneuver. One other 18 carts, with 6-member groups, carry the audio gear.

Like air site visitors controllers, staff leaders carrying headsets direct every staff. A stage piece ending up within the flawed place, even by an inch or two, could possibly be disastrous, Quenzel mentioned.   

The setup takes eight minutes, with the present itself lasting about 13. Eradicating the stage takes simply over six minutes, Quenzel mentioned, earlier than the groups retake the sphere.

Through the present, behind-the-scenes personnel wait in predetermined spots to hold away clothes throughout wardrobe adjustments that have to be executed all the way down to the second, Quenzel mentioned. “A part of the artwork of the present is what we don’t present you, what you don’t see,” he mentioned. 

An instance that stands out to Quenzel was in 2015, when pop star Katy Perry needed to sing her hit, “Roar.”

She and the producers thought it could be enjoyable if she entered driving a golden lion. The 20-foot (6.1 m) mechanical beast was set on wheels hid by legs that have been pushed backwards and forwards by performers to imitate footsteps.

For such an enormous spectacle, there may be treasured little time to rehearse. Shakira and Lopez started separate rehearsals as early as December, Parise mentioned, however had only some days to follow collectively.

Rehearsals principally passed off on the Miami Dolphins’ follow facility, earlier than transferring to the Tremendous Bowl stadium on Wednesday. “We have been working 12-to-15-hour days,” Parise mentioned. 

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Communication is one other problem. Along with the lots of of individuals employed by the NFL, every artist brings monumental groups of dancers and employees. To get everybody on the identical web page, producers rent veteran business professionals, together with producer Ricky Kirshner and director Hamish Hamilton. 

Sunday’s present is alleged to characteristic loads of particular results and dancing. However with all that goes into planning, it is very important bear in mind the present shouldn’t be the principle occasion, Quenzel mentioned. 

“It’s by no means misplaced on us that we’re the facet present,” he mentioned.

Reporting By Nicholas Brown in Miami; Modifying by Frank McGurty and Invoice Berkrot

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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