T-minus three days until the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Super Bowl LVI. Though the Rams are 15-5 compared to the Bengals score of 13-7, it’s still anyone’s game as football fans ramp up to cheer on their favorite team this Sunday.
You’ll find the Super Bowl playing at nearly every sports bar, or venue with a TV for that matter, but here are a couple of options to get you started.
B.D. Riley's Irish Pub at Mueller | 1905 Aldrich St.
For a full weekend of sports, starting with the Rugby’s Greatest Championship the day before, this Irish pub will have you smelling the football food before you even walk in. Of course, there will be plenty of beer on tap, bloody Marys, a cozy atmosphere and TVs for an all-around exciting experience.
The Cavalier | 2400 Webberville Road
The Cavalier is starting the festivities early this year, kicking off with drag brunch from noon-2 p.m. before switching gears to the NFL. The bar is screening the Super Bowl on every indoor and outdoor television, plus offering a Super Bowl-savvy happy hour: $1 off draft beers, $2 Jello shots, $3 cans of Austin Beerworks, $4 well drinks, $5 frozen drinks and $6 burgers.
Dreamland Dripping Springs | 2770 US-290
Screening on its outdoor amphitheater screen, Dreamland Dripping Springs guests will be met with a specialty cocktail menu and plenty of Super Bowl food with room to explore and then some. Guests who come in wearing a team jersey will receive 10% off their beverage tab.
The Dogwood | 715 W 6th Street and 11420 Rock Rose Avenue
Whether you visit the 6th Street or Domain location, The Dogwood will put you right in the middle of the action for the afterparty. The sixth street location will hold drawings and activities throughout the game but both locations will have a DJ, brunch food and a crawfish boil to boot. Beware–word on the street is that The Dogwood is a haven for Bengals fans.
Fresa's | 1703 S 1st Street
Watch the Bengals take on the Rams on the (really) big, 115-inch screen at Fresa’s gigantic outdoor patio. For the fifth year in a row, Fresa’s will offer $2 off on beer, wine and its signature margaritas from 4-10 p.m., a special game-day menu complete with wings, poblano spinach dip and jalapeno poppers. Fresa’s is also offering game day takeout if you’d prefer to watch from home.
Hold Out Brewing | 1208 W 4th St.
Promising it won’t be the “average” Super Bowl party, Hold Out Brewing is pulling out the stops for its football fiesta this year. The brewery is celebrating the biggest game of the year with a special menu consisting of cheeseburger egg rolls, chicken wings, fries of all cuts and seven-layer dip. Don’t miss the two new beer collaborations, half-time field goal kicking competition and live music to close out the evening.
Jester King Brewery | 13187 Fitzhugh Road
Enjoy the action-packed game from the serenity of Jester King Brewery’s goat farm, complete with extravagant food options and a big screen to watch on. Though tickets cost anywhere from $25-$80 depending on the package you choose, party-goers will be treated to drink tickets, a whole pig roast from tacos, brisket chili, cornbread and raffle prizes.
Meanwhile Brewing | 3901 Promontory Point Drive
With four acres to sprawl out on, Meanwhile Brewing Co. allows plenty of room to romp and will project the game from both its 16-foot and 40-foot outdoor screens. There will be game day food for all at the four adjacent food trucks: buffalo chicken pizza, available with an alternative cauliflower crust, from Dough Boys; pulled chicken sandwiches from Distant Relatives, Dorito Migas from Pueblo Viejo and cookie dough from Bésame’s. RSVPs are recommended.
The Tavern | 922 W 12th St.
The German-inspired downtown sports bar has 31 TVs spread out across two floors, so there will be no need to bottleneck while watching the game. With all the classic sports food, like wings, burgers and fries, a central location and beers galore on tap, the pub recommends arriving early and hungry.
Bonus: Austin Humane Society’s Puppy Bowl at the Yard Bar | 124 W. Anderson Lane and 6700 Burnet Road
Kicking off the excitement on Saturday before the big game, Austin Humane Society will host an adoption event with $200 discounted adoption fees from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., while local restaurants compete for the 2022 Best Tailgating Treat competition. The Puppy Bowl will kick off at Yard Bar at 2 p.m., with sweet little floofs “competing” for the win. If your dog is under 35 pounds, enter them as a player for $30, or just bring them by for a $30 photo session, with 20% of the proceeds going toward Austin Humane Society.
In May, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein looked back on 10 years of Formula 1's U.S. Grand Prix at COTA confident that the race would be here to stay in Texas. But sources tell Austonia that securing another contract may be in jeopardy.
Some insiders worry that COTA's 2021 Grand Prix race might be its last.
The multi-day fest from Oct. 22-24 will include a 56-lap race over the 3.3-mile track, food and musical performances from two acts, including Billy Joel at COTA's 1,500-acre facility in Southeast Austin. But after this year, the U.S.' first F1-specific track could lose its headline event.
The facility's inability to secure a contract thus far comes down to the Texas Legislature, a new threat in Miami, and, most importantly, money.
The first F 1 race will take place in Miami next year. (Hard Rock Stadium)
Every year, Formula 1 receives roughly $25 million from Texas' Major Events Reimbursement Program, a taxpayer-funded initiative that helps bring big sporting events like 2017's Houston Super Bowl to the state. A 2019 report by the Reimbursements Program on that year's race said the "data is inconclusive" on if the event has a positive or negative economic impact on the state with the resources given. In 2018, the Austin-American Statesman reported that COTA had brought back a total of $75.7 million between 2015 and 2017 for hosting the U.S. Grand Prix.
Legal issues have also barred Epstein and Co. from securing another 10-year contract earlier: in 2018, the company lost its yearly $25 million bid after failing to submit a human trafficking prevention plan as part of its yearly application.
That same year, F1 managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches told the Associated Press that the organization hopes to stay at COTA "for many years to come."
However, in May, the racing league announced that it had secured a 10-year contract to hold the Miami Grand Prix as American interest in the sport soared following the three-season "Drive to Survive" documentary, which gives behind-the-scenes looks at drivers and races of the Formula One World Championship.
Epstein is optimistic about the new U.S. location and told Autoweek in May that "more races in our time zones are good for the sport."
"I think we're getting double the impact this way," Epstein said. "Miami should sell out huge the first year and maybe the second year and then after that, I think we'd be spitting audience if we were around the same time on the calendar. So the spread is fantastic."
Bobby Epstein recognizes the 1 millionth customer of COTA in 2013. (COTA/Facebook)
The new F1 venture may impact COTA's contract, however: in an opinion piece for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, writer Mac Engel said Texas is unlikely to fork over taxpayer money if the facility is no longer the only F1 track in the U.S.
According to Engel, the Major Events Reimbursements Program agrees to provide funding only "if Austin holds the only F1 race in the country."
Epstein hasn't addressed such claims; by contrast, he feels as though there's room for a third race in the U.S. as ticket sales rebound after COVID.
"In the first week, we sold pretty much all the tickets we put up for sale and we plan to break the 2019 attendance record," Epstein told Autoweek. "Texas was the first place to lift COVID-19 restrictions (in the U.S.) and put on sporting events, and we're full. We're at 100% capacity.
Despite ventures to diversify revenue at COTA—Epstein's USL soccer team Austin Bold has seen its own share of troubles, and the facility plans to develop into a multi-faceted entertainment arena complete with music venues, a waterpark, condominiums and an 11-story hotel—a loss of its primary event could be devastating for the $300 million complex.
F1 has rarely lasted more than a decade at venues in the U.S. over the last century; let's hope Austin breaks that curse.
COTA's media relations team did not immediately get back to Austonia for comment.
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Round Rock nurse and COVID-19 frontline worker Nhi Phan was among 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chiefs in person on Sunday night.
Phan, a specialty triage nurse at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, attended the Super Bowl as part of a thank-you gift from the Dallas Cowboys for risking her life in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nhi Phan (LinkedIn)
Phan was one of four selected by the Cowboys in a drawing that saw over 700 applicants. Although she told KXAN she was rooting for the Chiefs, the game was still a win for Phan, who had never attended a live football game prior to Sunday night.
The drawing was part of an initiative by the NFL to gift tickets to over 7,500 vaccinated health care workers around the country. Workers were recognized for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic multiple times throughout the big game and were even thanked by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in an ad that aired before kickoff.
While all of the winning health care workers were vaccinated before the Super Bowl, social distancing practices such as wearing masks were still enforced to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Alongside the 7,500 health care workers, 14,500 others attended the game, bringing the total attendance to 22,000.
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