Most Super Bowl parties are a relaxed affairs, couch-bound gatherings of friends fueled by cheap beer and queso. There will probably be chips. Someone might make sliders. And if you’re really lucky, maybe someone will make margaritas.
Or you could go down to Santa Clara this weekend, just a block away from Levi’s Stadium, where there’s another type of party happening. You’ll sit on luxurious couches eating all you can amounts of food that Guy Fieri has cooked you. You’ll rub shoulders with dozens of active NFL players and celebrities. Maybe you’ll even chat with Erin Andrews, who’ll be emceeing the event. The price tag for this afternoon of decadence? $700.
That party--the Players Super Bowl Tailgate--is the work of Bullseye Event Group, a team that prides themselves on throwing the biggest and best tailgates. They’ve built their business on perfecting the art and science of throwing the most extravagant pre-game parties, flawlessly executed fêtes packed with athletes, celebrities and endless amounts of booze and gourmet food.
Bullseye was founded by the husband and wife team of Lisa and Kyle Kinnett, who had several years of experience in the event planning and sports worlds. They gradually worked their way up to bigger and bigger events, and became the official events and travel partner for the Indianapolis Colts. A few years ago, they saw an opening in the market for a new kind of Super Bowl experience. Plenty of companies offered packages for the big game, pairings of tickets and three nights at a local hotel. But the Kinnetts figured out something that would set them apart: blow-out, no expense spared tailgates preceding the game. But to do so, they had to figure out what transforms a party from being just ok into the best tailgate you’ve ever been to in your entire life--one worthy of their hefty price tags.
They settled on a simple formula. Take all the parts of your relaxed local tailgate, and magnify it. Acquire the biggest TVs and the softest leather couches. Carpet the entirety of the giant space you’ve rented. Offer all-you-can-eat food from a celebrity chef. Get someone well known to moderate it. Then pack the party with active football players to make fans feel like they’re part of the NFL world.