If you think AFL Grand Final day is big in Melbourne, you haven’t lived through the Super Bowl in America. More than just the pinnacle of US sporting spectacles, the Super Bowl is also home to the half time slot is also one of the most coveted gigs on the planet for A-list musicians (Katy Perry has this year’s honour), and is where the biggest global brands show off their latest commercials for obscene rates.
Last year’s Super Bowl, in which the Seattle Seahawks triumphed over the Denver Broncos, was the most-watched television event in American history (side note: the Seahawks have made the Super Bowl again, this year taking on the New England Patriots). Locally, even if you know nothing about the sport itself, it’s hard not to be swept up in the excitement. Here in Australia, celebrating the Super Bowl has extended to indulging in all things American, from imported beers to fried food. This Monday the 2nd of February sees dozens of parties happening around town to celebrate the Super Bowl. You know we always come through for you, so we’ve made a hit list of where to watch the Super Bowl in Melbourne.
Precinct Hotel | Richmond
What happens when you combine one of Melbourne’s best burger joints with one of the inner city’s best sports pubs? The answer is the Precinct Hotel’s now-annual Super Bowl party. The dudes from Huxtaburger will be serving up all your favourites—like Bill, Rhonda and the vegetarian-friendly Sondra —all day, with plenty of US beers and spicy Southwestern cocktails to wash them down. There are plenty of big screens scattered around the venue so you’ll be guaranteed a good vantage point; the extra-keen can get in early to reserve a seat. General admission tickets are $12; $22 will land you entry, a reserved seat and breakfast, Huxta-style.
College Lawn Hotel | Prahran
The folk at Prahran’s College Lawn Hotel love their sport. With 13 large plasma screens indoor and out, it’s one of the best spots in town to catch your favourite codes from NBA and AFL to tennis, cricket and soccer. Super Bowl punters can feast on an all-inclusive food and drinks package from 10am until 2pm, which will set you back just $80. The Budweiser will be flowing freely, the food will be as authentic as the deep south and the big game will be live and loud. What more could you want this Super Bowl in Melbourne?
Peninsula | Docklands
Through his business CM Ultimate Events, former North Melbourne footballer Corey McKernan sure knows how to throw a good party. This year, he’s staging the Ultimate Aussie Super Bowl, dubbed ‘the most authentic experience outside the USA.’ A stellar line up of celebs including former NFL star Terrell Owens, Collingwood premiership captain Nick Maxwell and ESPN’s Jason Bennett will take to the stage. The $130 ticket includes all-inclusive Budweiser and soft drink as well as all the US food you can dream of. Think corn dogs, ribs, fried chicken, pretzels and more!
The Leveson | North Melbourne
You won’t be starved for choice at North Melbourne’s The Leveson, which is this year offering three different Super Bowl packages. Punters can select from the basic general admission ($15 including a drink) to the VIP ticket, which includes plenty of American-style food and two drinks ($85). The Leveson regularly hosts events for big sporting matches like the grand final, so you can be assured of plenty of screens, comfort and top-notch food. Make sure you get creative with what you wear, too—there are prizes for the best dressed fans.
Crown Riverwalk | Southbank
Foxtel is the home of American sports on Australian TV, and the pay-TV provider is putting its money where its mouth is by hosting an outdoor party just for its subscribers at Crown Riverwalk. The exclusive, customer-only event will feature the big game live on the big screen (in glorious HD), limited stadium-style seating, US-style food stands, a Budweiser pop-up bar and plenty of entertainment, prizes and special guests. Best of all, entry is free! Gates open at 8.30am and punters must provide ID to be checked off as a Foxtel customer.
The Palace Hotel | South Melbourne
With its leafy beer garden, pool tables, TVs beaming live sport, and even a resident four-legged friend (Billy the pooch), South Melbourne’s Palace Hotel is the type of old-school pub you could waste away an entire weekend in. Drink your way through the comprehensive craft beer menu or the selection of US beers (on tap and by the bottle) as you chow down on some authentic Frank’s hot sauce wings. The game will be shown on six screens and while entry is free, bookings are recommended.
Turf Bar | Melbourne CBD
Turf Bar’s slogan is ‘at Turf, we love sport!’ and nobody could accuse them of false advertising. Just check out the venue’s upcoming event list, promoting everything from live NBA and EPL to tennis and cricket (and the football season hasn’t even started yet). There are three huge screens and plenty of additional plasmas, as well as more than 20 local and imported beers. As for food, Turf has a massive menu of pizzas, parmas and grills (like a Texas-style BBQ brisket or baby back ribs) to ensure you won’t go hungry.
The Public Bar | North Melbourne
In case you missed the news, Miss Katie’s already-legendary Crab Shack (which currently calls North Melbourne’s Public Bar home) will relocate to the soon-to-be-reopened Rochester Hotel in Fitzroy early this year. So don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Miss Katie’s crabs, fried chicken and burgers as part of the Public Bar’s third annual Super Bowl party. The game will be shown on the big screen in the band room and LCD screens in the front bar and bar staff will be waiting to serve you $10 jugs of Public Bar Draught, Bloody Marys and Brooklyn Lager, which will be on tap just for the day.
Prahran Hotel | Prahran
Feast on a special dude food menu at the Prahran Hotel during their epic four day ode to America! Running from Friday the 30th, grab your $20 buckets of Miller and some Southern fried chicken with bacon mayo! But don’t worry burger fiends, there’s also an American double beef burger and smokey BBQ ribs on offer to make the experience totally authentic. Topping it off on the Monday is a free Super Bowl party, with the action screened live—the only tricky part? Choosing which of the nine huge plasmas to watch it on!
Image Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty