It’s been nine years since the 49ers won the Super Bowl. That makes this year special for diehard fans like Gabriel Arroyo.
Arroyo, like many other football fans this Sunday, will shell out even more money to cheer on the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens during the Super Bowl in New Orleans. The National Retail Federation predicts that more than 179 million people will watch the game - and that they'll spend nearly $12.3 billion, up 12 percent from last year, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots. On average, fans will drop $69 dollars each.
Arroyo says he’ll spend $200 on 49ers logo shirts and other gear for the big game. Last year he spent $50.
“There’s going to be all the Super Bowl shirts that are up for sale,” Arroyo says. “Everybody who wouldn’t normally get one would get some this year because our Niners are in the Super Bowl.”
Several Southern California bars expect crowds. South in Santa Monica is planning for a capacity turnout of 250 Ravens and 49ers fans. The game will air on every one of the bar’s 30 TV screens as customers chomp on chicken wings and guzzle down pitchers of beer.
Lara Kincanon, one of the bar’s managers, says Super Bowl Sunday sales are comparable to those on St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s definitely something like a holiday for sure,” Kincanon says.
49ers fan Gabriel Arroyo plans to watch the game at Don Martin’s Mexican Grill in San Bernardino, with the rest of the Niner Empire IE Chapter - of which he's president.
“We started this season there, and we’re going to end it there with a big Super Bowl celebration,” Arroyo says.
On Sunday, Arroyo says some of his group will show up as early as 10 in the morning to get the best seats - for a game that starts at 3:30 in the afternoon.