Super Bowl 2023 comes to a dramatic end in Arizona after Rihanna show, celeb appearances

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Arizona felt a little like the center of the universe as professional athletes, celebrities and football fans converged on metro Phoenix for the 2023 Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium.

An array of star-studded Super Bowl-themed events took place in the lead-up to the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs' showdown in Glendale. That's not to mention Rihanna's halftime show or the pregame performances from Chris Stapleton, Babyface and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Here's a recap of celebrity sightings, fan events, autograph signings, concerts, parties — all the biggest moments before, and during, the big game.

Super Bowl in Arizona 2023: Updates on traffic, weather, restrictions

Travis Kelce is ready to party after the trophy ceremony

Well done, whoever plays music over the public-address system at State Farm Stadium.


During the trophy ceremony immediately following the thrilling game, in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 with a field goal in the final seconds, Travis Kelce did what he does from the on-field stage: Screamed, "You gotta fight! For your right!"

And then he let the Chiefs fans finish, "TO PARRRRRRTTTTY!"

Which they did, screaming with delight. And immediately the stadium speakers blasted "Fight for Your Right" by the Beastie Boys.

Rock on.

Super Bowl 57 comes to a dramatic end

Fans celebrate Kansas City's win in Super Bowl 57.
Fans celebrate Kansas City's win in Super Bowl 57.

The tension inside State Farm Stadium was incredible — as was the noise.

No surprise, since these are two of the loudest fan bases in the NFL. They went back and forth through the second half till Kansas City kicked a field goal with 11 seconds left to go up 38-35.

It was a wild end to a wild day. Which made it kind of perfect.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Pregnant and stunning in red: Rihanna crushed the Super Bowl 2023 halftime show

After party: 7 Westgate restaurant and bars offer late hours on Super Bowl Sunday

Whether you celebrating your team's win or looking for a pick-me-up if they didn't, you won't need to go far for a post-game drink.

Seven restaurants and bars near the stadium at Westgate Entertainment District are staying open late after the game. Karaoke, check; food, check; drinks, check; pool, check.

Here are seven restaurants and bars with extended hours on game day.

— Bahar Anooshahr

After a powerhouse Super Bowl performance, everyone wants to know: Is Rihanna pregnant again?

At around 6:28 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12, the yearslong Rihanna drought came to an end.

Amid the excitement surrounding hearing her perform classics like "Umbrella,” there was rampant speculation on social media about whether Rihanna is pregnant again nine months after giving birth to her first son. Some posts were more tactful than others.

The NFL shared footage of A$AP Rocky enjoying Rihanna’s performance and some millennials drew parallels between Rihanna’s backup dancers’ outfits and the 2008 Disney film ‘Minutemen.’

A representative for Rihanna confirmed that she is indeed expecting her next child, making her Super Bowl performance possibly the biggest pregnancy reveal ever.

— KiMi Robinson

Rihanna reasserts her pop music dominance at her halftime show

We’ve all been wondering who Rihanna might bring out to join her in the spotlight when she took the world’s biggest stage at State Farm Stadium for the Super Bowl 2023 halftime show and … surprise.

She got along just fine without a single cameo.

Rihanna made her entrance on a floating platform high above the field, rocking a stylish red jumpsuit and matching latex bustier singing “Bitch Better Have My Money,” seamlessly working her way through a dizzying celebration of her catalog that put the focus squarely on her most iconic hits, from “Umbrella” to “Work.”

She hasn’t toured since late 2016 and this halftime show more than lived up to the promise of a world-class performer reasserting her place in the pop music stratosphere.

— Ed Masley

Rihanna's Super Bowl 2023 playlist: Here's every song from her halftime show performance

One fan paid over $30K for her seat. Was it worth it?

Liz Foster had the best seat in the house for Super Bowl 57, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

And she’s a Cincinnati Bengals fan. She and her husband Bill bought the tickets before the AFC Championship, in which the Chiefs beat Cincinnati.

“We were just hoping the Bengals would be here so we planned ahead,” Foster said. “We were putting out good vibes.”

They were also putting out good money — Foster wouldn’t come clean on exactly how much they spent, but she hinted at it — “30-ish,” she said.

As in $30,000?

“Plus some.”

Plus how much? Foster wasn’t saying. But even without her favorite team playing in the game, she said a backup plan:

“I’m here for Rihanna.”

— Bill Goodykoontz

Fan zone: The best seat at Super Bowl 2023 cost her $30,000 (plus some). And she's a Bengals fan

Fans at the Hance Park watch party aren't just blown away by Rihanna

It's getting a bit rough in downtown Phoenix for us mere mortals who didn't make it inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

The winds are whipping around Margaret T. Hance Park, where the official NFL watch party is underway at the Super Bowl Experience. According to the National Weather Service, the wind is blowing west at more than 20 mph, kicking up dead grass and the few leaves left on the trees.

That hasn't tamped down the excitement at the park, where it's been difficult — if at all possible — to navigate from one side to the other because the crowd in front of the stage is just that dense.

— KiMi Robinson

Are you ready for Rihanna?

The Super Bowl has rarely had a more anticipated halftime show.

Rihanna, one of the most successful pop sensations of the century, is making her return to live performance for the first time since 2018, when she did the Grammys. It's been even longer since she’s toured.

We spoke to several members of the team that helped her put this show together and they promised us "It's nothing like you've ever seen before.” Her music director added, “Trust me, this is my fourth Super Bowl halftime. And I must say, Rihanna has pushed the bar."

The singer herself is promising a “jam-packed ... celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could have put it together."

— Ed Masley

Adele at State Farm Stadium for the Super Bowl: 'I'm going just for Rihanna'

Adele is cheering for Team Rihanna at Super Bowl 2023 in Glendale, just like she promised.

The British singer — who can always be counted on for a good reaction meme — was spotted in a box at State Farm Stadium on Sunday. Just over a week earlier, she told the crowd at one of her Las Vegas residency shows that she's "going just for Rihanna."

Hopefully there will be some cameras pointed her way during the halftime show performance.

— KiMi Robinson

Chris Stapleton spared us the all-too-common national anthem showboating

Recording artist Chris Stapleton performs the national anthem prior to the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale.
Recording artist Chris Stapleton performs the national anthem prior to the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale.

Is Chris Stapleton “only the best voice in the world,” as Babyface suggested at a press conference in downtown Phoenix Thursday morning?

To be fair, few singers could hope to live up to that level of hype. But Stapleton does have a wonderful voice, as anyone at all familiar with the Grammy-winning country singer’s catalog would surely testify.

And he used it to brilliant effect at State Farm Stadium without making it feel like he was out there to impress us with a show of vocal pyrotechnics.

It was more about the song itself, which as Stapleton said, can go horribly wrong. But this one didn’t.

— Ed Masley

Review: Chris Stapleton's deeply soulful Super Bowl national anthem, plus Sheryl Lee Ralph, Babyface

Sheryl Lee Ralph delivers a monumental ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’

Sheryl Lee Ralph performs before Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium.
Sheryl Lee Ralph performs before Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, the Emmy-winning star of “Abbott Elementary,” got the pregame entertainment off to a breathtaking start with her version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem, looking powerful in a flowing, off-the-shoulder red gown and matching gloves.

At Thursday’s pregame press conference in Phoenix, Ralph said her goal was “to make sure we could have a version for people to understand the great lyrics of this song and what it means.”

And that’s exactly how it went, a life-affirming testament to the deep meaning of the lyrics, well served by Ralph’s Broadway experience. If you didn’t understand those lyrics, you weren’t listening.    — Ed Masley

Here's what to expect in 2023:How long does the Super Bowl national anthem take?

How to watch Chris Stapleton sing the national anthem at Super Bowl 2023

Country superstar Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem just before Super Bowl 2023 kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

He’ll be joined in the pregame ceremonies by Babyface, who will sing “America the Beautiful,” and Sheryl Lee Ralph, of “Abbot Elementary,” who will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Each song will be performed in American Sign Language as well, by Arizona native Troy Kotsur, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Coda”; Colin Denny, a member of the Navajo Nation in Arizona; and Justina Miles.

Here’s everything to know about today’s national anthem, including how long it might last.

— Jill Cassidy

Super Bowl pregame: Sheryl Crow soaks up the sun, suggests new footwear for Patrick Mahomes

Sheryl Crow performs a Super Bowl 2023 pregame set at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.
Sheryl Crow performs a Super Bowl 2023 pregame set at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.

Sheryl Crow was midway through a hit-filled concert at the On Location tailgate party outside State Farm Stadium when she took a moment to reflect on her footwear — spectacular studded black open-toed clogs with heels that had to be at least 4 inches high.

“All I’m saying,” she said, “is I think Patrick Mahomes should have to run in these shoes.”

That would definitely be a game changer.

Crow and her band took the stage to a raucous recording of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” — a bold move, to be sure, and a handy frame of reference for the brand of rock ‘n’ roll that has underscored her finest hours from the start.

After setting the tone with “If It Makes You Happy,” Crow proceeded through such classics as “A Change Will Do You Good,” the decidedly Stonesy “My Favorite Mistake” (which always makes me think of “Goats Head Soup”), her stellar cover of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” “Soak Up the Sun,” her breakthrough single “All I Wanna Do” and “Every Day Is a Winding Road.”

“Can you believe this weather?!” she asked. “It’s supposed to be snowing in Nashville today. I’m just really happy to be here, if nothing else to give myself a killer suntan.”

She also took a moment to note another cause to celebrate this weekend.

“Yesterday was my birthday,” she said. “I’m 38 again.”

— Ed Masley

The downtown Phoenix Super Bowl action has moved to Hance Park

Trucks outside the Phoenix Convention Center  on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. The Super Bowl Experience at the convention center closed on Feb. 11.
Trucks outside the Phoenix Convention Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. The Super Bowl Experience at the convention center closed on Feb. 11.

The Super Bowl Experience at Phoenix Convention Center is officially over, and the NFL fans who have swarmed downtown Phoenix for the past week moved north to Margaret T. Hance Park for the free Super Bowl Experience fan event.

That’s where the NFL’s first ever official Super Bowl watch party is taking place on what officials claimed were the largest LED screens in Arizona.   An hour and a half before kickoff, the bar scene near the Convention Center was subdued, with a smattering of patrons at venues such as Majerle’s Sports Grill and Barrel and Bushel.

The real fans — sorry, not sorry — were at Hance Park, biding their time by completing the QB obstacle course, playing corn hole and enjoying local food and drinks.

The lines for the bars, craft beer and portable toilets were manageable with an hour to go before kickoff. Visitors were eager to get their hands on some food; lines for the vendors on the north side of Hance Park far surpassed the shorter ones on the south side.

But the majority of fans were staked out in front of the screens, braving the full sun exposure (my weather app showed it was 76 degrees) as they sat on blankets and folding chairs.

— KiMi Robinson

Hance Park dining guide:What to eat and drink at the 2023 Super Bowl Experience

What channel is the Super Bowl on? How to watch

Wondering how to watch Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles?

The short answer is that the game airs on Fox this year. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time. Here’s how to watch or stream Super Bowl 2023.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Seriously, what is up with Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly?

One moment we're speculating about whether Machine Gun Kelly actually got electrocuted while performing at the WM Phoenix Open's Birds Nest in Scottsdale on Friday.

The latest mystery now is whether he and Megan Fox are still engaged.

This Super Bowl Sunday — the morning after MGK headlined SI the Party with The Chainsmokers at Talking Stick Resort and two days after the couple attended the h.wood Homecoming event in Scottsdale — Fox sparked rumors that the couple, who have been engaged for over a year, are on the rocks.

According to reports, she shared an Instagram post that included a clip of a burning letter with the Beyonce lyrics "You can taste the dishonesty / it’s all over your breath" in the caption. Then she reportedly removed all her photos with MGK and unfollowed everyone except Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet and Eminem.

She has since appeared to have deactivated her Instagram.

Only time will tell what this development actually means.

— KiMi Robinson

Rihanna, Dave Grohl, Paris Hilton:Celebrities spotted in Phoenix for Super Bowl 2023

Sibling rivalry at Super Bowl 57

Rivalry runs deep for brother and sister Cornell Brooks and Darlene Brooks, pictured at Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium.
Rivalry runs deep for brother and sister Cornell Brooks and Darlene Brooks, pictured at Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium.

Cornell and Darlene Brooks are siblings who may agree on some things, but football isn't one of them. Though the pair are attending Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium together.

Cornell, from Chicago, wore a Kansas City Chiefs jersey. Darlene, from coastal Mississippi, wore a Philadelphia Eagles jersey.

“She doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Cornell said of his sister. “She’s starting to get on my nerves.”

For her part, Darlene responded with an eye roll. Nothing like sibling rivalry.

— Bill Goodykoontz

A peek inside the swag bags for premium seat ticketholders

As if great seats weren’t enough, fans sitting in the best seats in State Farm Stadium had a cooler full of snacks waiting for them.

Zachary Ginsberg of Scottsdale was one such fan. He was sitting with his father, who got the tickets.

“I’m a plus-one,” Zachary said.

Inside the collapsible cooler was a Twix candy bar, almonds, Skittles, Doritos and … condiments.

Why condiments?

“You can never have enough mustard and ketchup,” Zachary said. Fair enough.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Super Bowl announcers walk the field at State Farm Stadium

The NFL on Fox crew set up on the field at State Farm Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 57.
The NFL on Fox crew set up on the field at State Farm Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 57.

The NFL on Fox crew set up on the field just outside the Kansas City Chiefs endzone. Meanwhile, announcers Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen walked the field, chatting with players and surveying the scene.

Bill Goodykoontz 

Don't let Tom Brady make it his last:Greg Olsen is about to call his first Super Bowl

Super Bowl 57 is all about sponsorships

The Crunch Zone is a pop-up market at State Farm Stadium for Super bowl 57.
The Crunch Zone is a pop-up market at State Farm Stadium for Super bowl 57.

Everything is sponsored at Super Bowl 57. Even the pop-up store in State Farm Stadium. It’s open for Arizona Cardinals games all season long, but Sunday its stock was limited to Frito Lay and Anheuser-Busch. So if you wanted Lay's potato chips or Bud Light, this is the place for you.

On the other hand, what else do you really need?

Bill Goodykoontz 

Oh, it’s on: Puppy Bowl is happening now. Here are the cute Arizona contestants

Inya, a chihuahua and miniature pinscher mix rescued by NAGI Foundation, is among the 122 canines who will be featured during Animal Planet's 2023 Puppy Bowl XIX on Feb. 12.
Inya, a chihuahua and miniature pinscher mix rescued by NAGI Foundation, is among the 122 canines who will be featured during Animal Planet's 2023 Puppy Bowl XIX on Feb. 12.

The big game in Glendale is still a few hours away but the 2023 Puppy Bowl is airing right now and we want to introduce you to the canine cuties representing Arizona.

Inya is a chihuahua and miniature pinscher mix rescued by NAGI Foundation. Phoenix is a cairn terrier mix rescued from Arizona Humane Society.

Phoenix, a cairn terrier mix rescued by Arizona Humane Society, is among the 122 canines who will be featured during Animal Planet's 2023 Puppy Bowl XIX on Feb. 12.
Phoenix, a cairn terrier mix rescued by Arizona Humane Society, is among the 122 canines who will be featured during Animal Planet's 2023 Puppy Bowl XIX on Feb. 12.

They are on Team Fluff, which is facing off against Team Ruff. All told, 122 pups from 67 shelters and rescue organizations are in Puppy Bowl XIX.

Here’s how to watch on Animal Planet and Discovery+.

— Jill Cassidy

The Black Keys bring the Dropout Boogie to the TikTok Tailgate

The Black Keys rocked the TikTok Tailgate Party in the parking lot, treating the crowd to such obvious highlights as “Dropout Boogie” and standout “Wild Child” before bringing their blues-rocking set to a rollicking finish with a gritty swagger through “Lonely Boy,” a double-platinum smash from “El Camino” that remains one of their biggest hits.

Ed Masley

Behind the music:Dan Auerbach shares the 'magic trick we learned at 16' that keeps The Black Keys going

Slow going: Game day arrivals at State Farm Stadium

Super Bowl 2023 kicks off at 4:30 p.m. today. In the noon hour more than a mile from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, as traffic crept by at a pace no snail would envy, a woman was holding a bright green poster advertising parking on her street for $80. By 12:30 p.m., hundreds of people were trudging down the street in a line toward the stadium.

— Ed Masley

Plan ahead: Super Bowl travelers should allow extra time when returning rental cars to Sky Harbor Airport

At least 180,000 passengers were expected at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on the Monday after the Super Bowl. That's about 60,000 more people than an average day.

Thousands of those people will be returning cars to the Rental Car Center. If you’re one of them, allow yourself ample time to drop off your car and ride the PHX Sky Train to your terminal. Airport staff recommends Super Bowl travelers allow at least four hours before departure to return car rentals.

The Rental Car Center is at 1805 E. Sky Harbor Circle South, south of Buckeye Road. It's accessible via exit 149 off Interstate 10. It’s roughly 2 miles from Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.

Here are more tips on how to navigate Sky Harbor Airport after the Super Bowl.

— Michael Salerno

What to expect from Rihanna's halftime show, in her own words

Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show talent Rihanna will perform at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12.
Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show talent Rihanna will perform at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12.

In the event that you’re wondering what to expect from Rihanna when she hits the stage at State Farm Stadium, she shed some light on that in downtown Phoenix on Thursday, promising “a jam-packed show.”  Her biggest challenge was "trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes," she said.

"That was the hardest, hardest part, deciding how to maximize 13 minutes, but also celebrate. That’s what this show is gonna be — a celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could have put it together."

Here’s hoping she checked out our countdown of her greatest songs before she made the final edit to that setlist. For more on what she had to say about the road to State Farm Stadium and where her music might be headed when the game is over, here’s a link for more Rihanna in her own words.

— Ed Masley

Fans can try a taste of Arizona at State Farm Stadium on Sunday

Lola Olivares of Lola's Tacos will sell her carne asada street tacos and aqua frescas on the fourth floor of State Farm Stadium on game day.
Lola Olivares of Lola's Tacos will sell her carne asada street tacos and aqua frescas on the fourth floor of State Farm Stadium on game day.

Lola's Tacos owner Lola Olivares said she's excited to introduce authentic Mexican food to football fans flying in from Philadelphia and Kansas City on game day. In addition to the food trucks selling local fare in front of the stadium, she is one of several vendors offering a taste of Arizona inside State Farm Stadium.

"It's a huge honor," Olivares said. "I keep pinching myself, like, is this for real? Especially being a Mexican American woman. I'm so grateful for what the universe has given me."

Lola's Tacos will offer carne asada street tacos, quesadillas and taquitos at concession stand 434, located on the fourth floor of State Farm Stadium. There will also be two flavors of aqua frescas available — green cucumber in honor of the Eagles and red strawberry for the Chiefs.

— Endia Fontanez 

Local restaurants at Super Bowl 57:This food truck is dishing Phoenix BBQ

Tailgate with Jason Derulo and the Black Keys 

Looking to show up early to the Super Bowl for tailgating action? There’s a TikTok Tailgate starting at 12:30 p.m. with the Black Keys and Jason Derulo, two acts you may rarely think of in the same breath. You’ll need an additional ticket on top of a Super Bowl ticket to enter, but it’s also streaming live on TikTok starting at 12:55 if you just want to watch it on your phone from your parking space. Here’s everything we know about the TikTok Tailgate.

— Ed Masley

The best Super Bowl watch parties:And the deals they're offering

Catch these Tucson restaurants at Guy Fieri's tailgate party

Tumerico, Renee’s and Inca’s will be at Guy Fieri’s Flavortown tailgate party next to State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale, on Super Bowl Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All three restaurants appeared on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Expect vegetarian and vegan options from Tumerico, open-faced sandwiches and focaccia with dips from Renee’s and Peruvian bites from Inca’s. See details at

— Bahar Anooshahr

Guy Fieri loves Arizona:Here are 26 restaurants he's been to in metro Phoenix

Devin Booker is ready for y'all to leave, OK?

Devin Booker took to Twitter Saturday evening with a plea to those visiting metro Phoenix for the Super Bowl and Phoenix Open: "Can all y’all get out my city," the NBA superstar tweeted. "I like it better quiet." Kendall Jenner's ex, he's just like us: stuck in traffic, a little crabby about the hubbub and, honestly, kinda ready for it to be Monday already. Of course, there's a whole lot to do and see before things quiet down — not limited to Rihanna's halftime show, Guy Fieri christening Glendale as Flavortown and about a million-trillion events and parties in between. But man, in the meantime, it's good to know Book gets it.

— Becky Bartkowski

Here's your guide to Glendale's new restaurants

Staying in the West Valley for the big game? Try hot chicken, sushi burritos or a bucket of spaghetti at one of these new restaurants that opened recently in Glendale.

— Endia Fontanez

Did Machine Gun Kelly really get electrocuted at the Birds Nest?

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly performs in the WM Phoenix Open’s Birds Nest at TPC Scottsdale on Feb. 10, 2023, in Scottsdale.
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly performs in the WM Phoenix Open’s Birds Nest at TPC Scottsdale on Feb. 10, 2023, in Scottsdale.

There’s video making the rounds of Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly’s hair undergoing a sudden makeover from hanging pretty normal (by MGK standards) to standing straight up high above his head in the middle of a song inside the party tent. MGK posted an Instagram story with a photo of his mile-high hairdo and the caption “Yooo. I got electrocuted and my hair stood up.”

Shocking, right?

As TMZ noted when sharing the story: “It's unclear if something really did happen or if it's just a stage prank. We're leaning toward prank, because he seems unfazed. Also, no EMTs showed up.”

Machine Gun Kelly has another performance on Saturday night at Talking Stick Resort, where he and the Chainsmokers are headlining Sports Illustrated’s SI the Party.

— Ed Masley

Say hello to these new restaurants in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is the place to party, whether you're celebrating the Super Bowl or the Waste Management Open. Here are 12 new restaurants and bars to try now in Scottsdale.

— Endia Fontanez 

Suns' Devin Booker and Chris Paul spotted at WM Phoenix Open

Arizona's Family reporter Nick King documented Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Josh Okogie and the Suns' new owner, Mat Ishbia, at the 16th hole of the WM Phoenix Open on Saturday afternoon.

Booker has apparently been looking forward to the PGA golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale since the NBA schedule was announced in August. During the Phoenix Open Tee-Off Luncheon in December, Booker and Paul spoke about their golf fandom, and Booker said he was excited to see there would be time off between Suns games against the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

“Most of the time, we've been out of town. A couple times, we've gotten to experience it, just the atmosphere," he said.

— KiMi Robinson

Phoenix Open 2023:Here's everything you need to know about the Birds Nest

What a Foo Fighter does after tearing up his own show

For anyone wondering how Dave Grohl spent his Friday night in Phoenix after playing the most electrifying acoustic show our critic has ever seen, here’s your answer.

It turns out he wandered down the street to Footprint Center to see the Dave Matthews Band’s headlining set at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Consequence of Sound tweeted a photo of the two rockers hugging it out backstage with the caption “Just two guys named Dave.”

— Ed Masley

How to have the best time at the Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park

If you're going to the Super Bowl Experience at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, when Major Lazer headlines, here are tips to enjoy the festivities.

  • Expect lines for popular activities like the football-themed obstacle course and the human hamster wheel at the PetSmart MVPets TAILgate Experience.

  • There's a good number of portable bathrooms. Find rows of them on the west end of the grounds near the entrance to the food court, and on the east end facing the VIP hospitality tent, a short walk from the concert stage.

  • You can bring a bag, but you’ll get through security faster if you don’t. Small bags are allowed – think what would count as a personal item on an airplane – but they must be screened before you can enter.

  • Come with an appetite. A food court has food trucks offering everything from macaroni and cheese to fry bread and Salvadorean food. Dining reporter Endia Fontanez has a guide on where to eat at the festival.

  • Believe the hype: the giant saguaro is awesome. Named Super Spike, the 44-foot-tall LED cactus must be seen to be believed. And once you see it, you must take a selfie with it. Then when the bands play, you must look to see if the LED lights synchronize with the music.

— Michael Salerno

Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime setlist wish list

Local rapper Ali Tomineek shared an animated video of the Rihanna halftime show he’d like to see her do at State Farm Stadium on Sunday on his Insta, inserting a cartoon version of himself into the action like any self-respecting rapper would.

It’s a pretty good mix of her hits, including many of the choices on our ultimate Rihanna playlist. We’ll see how it compares to the set Rihanna’s team came up with for her show on Super Bowl Sunday. They told us it took 52 versions to get there.

Either way, we’re expecting a “jam-packed” show — mainly because that’s what Rihanna told us to expect.

— Ed Masley

Kansas City Chiefs CEO, Disney star having fun at the 16th hole

Round 3 of the Phoenix Open is well underway and one golf spectator who’s enjoying himself is actor David Henrie, best known to millennials as a former Disney star from “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

He posted a photo of himself and some friends posing at the 16th hole on Saturday afternoon and captioned the post with “Great time at the @WMPhoenixOpen! Excited for Sunday with Chiefs Kingdom and @knobel_hunt and @theclarkhunt! How about those @Chiefs!”

Yes, that’s Clark Hunt, as in the CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s unclear if the photo was taken on Saturday, but if so: It’s not like there’s anything too important happening for Hunt and his team tomorrow or anything.

— KiMi Robinson

Here’s the biggest live music around Phoenix on Super Bowl Eve

So many shows Sunday!

Explore even more options in our roundup of Super Bowl concerts

— Ed Masley

A cheezy twist on the Philadelphia Eagles pole-climbing craze

There has been a lot of talk about the Philadelphia Eagles fans predilection for climbing street poles after an Eagles win. An Arizona State University student tweeted a video tour of various poles around the Valley and their suitability for climbing.

Now CamSoda, an adult entertainment company, is sending a truck filled with 55-gallon drums of lubricant to Philadelphia, according to a press release — lubricant mixed with Cheez Whiz, the only acceptable dairy ingredient of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

“Lube proves more difficult to scale than Crisco,” Daryn Parker, CamSoda’s vice president, said in a statement. “And the smell of wiz is just … yum.”

Not the word we would have used, but OK.

Bill Goodykoontz 

On the ground at the WM Phoenix Open, literally

The crowds ran into the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale at 7 a.m. Saturday, and it didn’t take long for the chanting and booing to ensue at the 16th hole ahead of the 9 a.m. tee time for Round 3.

It also didn’t take long for the waste to pile up. Minutes after the gates opened, staff were picking up cans and bottles strewn around the main entrance.

Always good to see Waste Management living up to its name.

In addition to the golf action, the Coors Light Birds Nest party tent opens at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The Chainsmokers headline, with Gryffin in support. Here’s everything to know about the Birds Nest.

— KiMi Robinson

Both Super Bowl Experience locations in Phoenix are open Sunday

The Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park is open daily through Sunday. It’s free to get in and features live music, games, activities and over a dozen local food trucks like Macology, Trash Panda Vegan and Wok This Way.

Here's a complete guide to what to eat at Hance Park this weekend. And you’ll find details on parking, hours and entertainment  in our Super Bowl Experience guide.

A ticketed version of the Super Bowl Experience is also taking place at the Phoenix Convention Center. There are games, a merch shop including halftime performer Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty fashion lines.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is among the players making appearances. Here’s a complete guide to the Experience plus what’s good to eat there.

— Endia Fontanez 

Dave Grohl's thundering toast to veterans at Crescent Ballroom

Dave Grohl treated a crowd packed with veterans to an intimate acoustic set in downtown Phoenix, shredding vocal cords at full intensity backed only by the strum of his guitar at the invitation-only solo show at Crescent Ballroom early Friday evening.

The Foo Fighters frontman partnered with Crown Royal to celebrate the hospitality and military communities while working with two of Crown Royal’s long-standing charity partners, CreatiVets and Packages from Home.

"If you're wondering why I'm here," he said, "I've had a long and fruitful relationship with Crown Royal."

Then he shared the story of a night spent drinking with Pantera before opening his set with "Times Like These," the first of several Foo Fighters classics that somehow felt like they rocked just as hard on acoustic guitar.

— Ed Masley 

Vegan Social brings brunch and night market event to Phoenix

On Saturday, Feb. 11, Vegan Social will have brunch and night tailgates in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Vegan Social is a monthly open-air market that offers food, drinks and produce from more than 50 vegan and vegan-friendly vendors. Admission is free. Brunch takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the night market is from 5 to 10 p.m. at First and Garfield streets. See details at

— Bahar Anooshahr 

Dave Matthews Band, The Killers, Lee Brice headline Friday concerts

Dave Matthews Band tops Friday’s Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest lineup with a DJ set by Anderson .Paak (as DJ Pee .Wee) at Footprint Center. Country superstar Lee Brice headlines the Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park, while The Killers are set to take the stage at Tempe Beach Park. And that's not even half the things happening across the Valley this evening. Here's a guide to the top Super Bowl 2023 events.

— Ed Masley

Fox says Biden interview back on for Super Bowl 2023

Typically (though not always) the president of the United States sits for an interview with a reporter from the news side of whatever network is broadcasting the game. (The game rotates among networks who broadcast NFL games every year).

This year, Fox is carrying the Super Bowl. A potential Joe Biden interview with Fox News' Bret Baier or Martha MacCallum could be, if not great journalism, at least compelling TV.

After the White House press secretary announced Friday that plans for a President Joe Biden interview with a Fox News streaming platform had fallen through, Fox Corp. announced that it was back on again. As of Friday, it's unclear whether the president will go through with the interview.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Pepsi Fan Fest pops off with 3-day party at Arizona Center

Here’s one more party for the fans in downtown Phoenix. Pepsi Fan Fest is a beer, food and music festival at the Arizona Center, 455 N. Third St. Petey Pablo, Too Short and Tech N9Ne are scheduled to perform. Ricky Watters and Kenny Gant are scheduled for meet and greets. Food and beer are available at the Four Peaks Brewing Co. Beer Garden, Sanchos Tacos and Elote Fuego.

General admission is free. For more details and to purchase concert tickets, see

— Bahar Anooshahr

Dave Grohl announces Super Bowl weekend concert in Phoenix

Feb 26, 2022; Tempe, AZ, USA; Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl performs at Innings Festival 2022 in Tempe Beach Park. Mandatory Credit: Megan Mendoza-Arizona Republic
Feb 26, 2022; Tempe, AZ, USA; Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl performs at Innings Festival 2022 in Tempe Beach Park. Mandatory Credit: Megan Mendoza-Arizona Republic

Dave Grohl is set to play an invitation-only solo show at Crescent Ballroom, a 500-capacity club in downtown Phoenix, early Friday evening.

The Foo Fighters frontman/Nirvana drummer (who positively killed it on the “Backbeat” soundtrack) has teamed with Crown Royal for the intimate event, which celebrates the hospitality and military communities and features two of Crown Royal’s long-standing charity partners, CreatiVets and Packages from Home.

Grohl last played metro Phoenix when Foo Fighters headlined Innings Festival last February at Tempe Beach Park, a show that proved to be their final U.S. date before the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins on March 25.

— Ed Masley

What Arizona visitors should know about Sky Harbor's lost and found

If you lose something at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, there are ways you can be reunited with your missing items. TSA staff raised awareness this week about its lost and found operations, aiming to help travelers in town for the Super Bowl and WM Phoenix Open.

Here’s how to get a lost item back:

— Michael Salerno

Are Eagles fans rowdy or just misunderstood?

If you type “why are Eagles fans” into Google, the search engine’s autocomplete function helpfully suggests “so crazy,” “so annoying” and “the worst.” 

But are Eagles fans really so rowdy? From his perch at friendly South Philly dive bar The Friendly Lounge — home to game-day potlucks featuring Italian meatballs or Vietnamese pho — Jersey-born Ryan Schamp said the idea Eagles fans are uniquely intense is an “undeserved narrative.”

“Eagles fans have done a few dumb things over the years,” Schamp conceded. But that’s not really how they are.  Here’s the real story of Philadelphia Eagles fans booing Santa.

— Matthew Korfhage

More:If the Eagles win Super Bowl 57, fans will climb Phoenix light poles. But why?

Why Indigenous activists will be at State Farm Stadium

The Kansas City Chiefs will be met with fans on Super Bowl Sunday, but they’ll also face Native activists asking them to change their name and in-game traditions. The team name “Chiefs” is in honor of a non-Native mayor from the 1960s. Fans still show up to games in feathered headdresses and war paint, though Arrowhead Stadium said they've banned it.

This week on Valley 101, producer Amanda Luberto spoke with Indigenous affairs reporter Debra Krol on the history of these traditions and why Arizonans are joining the Kansas City Indian Center to protest outside State Farm Stadium.

— Amanda Luberto

'Appalled':Scottsdale art gallery owner faces charges after racist tirade against Native performers

Roosevelt Row is ready for Super Bowl 2023 fans

The Flamin Hot Cheetos gas station at the Tost by Tostitos pop-up is a cute spot to take pictures with friends.
The Flamin Hot Cheetos gas station at the Tost by Tostitos pop-up is a cute spot to take pictures with friends.

In celebration of Super Bowl 57, Tostitos has opened a pop-up restaurant in downtown Phoenix called Tost by Tostitos. Aside from snacking on free Tostitos dishes, fans can enjoy music from a DJ, snap pics in one of the many photo booths or check out the Tostitos-themed Super Bowl ring display.

The pop-up event is scheduled to be open daily through Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Roosevelt Row Welcome Center, 918 N. Second St. For hours and details, see

— Endia Fontanez  

Gin Blossoms hit the stage at Super Bowl Experience

Gin Blossoms were treated to a hometown heroes’ welcome when they hit the stage at Margaret T. Hance Park as the first of two local legends on tap at Thursday’s Super Bowl Experience, launching their set with a spirited “Follow You Down.”

The song was greeted with a singalong that couldn’t have felt more enthusiastic, after which lead singer Robin Wilson took a moment to reflect on what a cool event this was.

“It’s great to be home,” he said. “And it is such a pleasure to be sharing the stage with Jimmy Eat World.”

But first he shared his favorite movie quote, on loan from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, about how they were here to kick ass and chew bubblegum and they’re all out of bubblegum. I’ve heard him do that several dozen times and I’ve enjoyed it every time. The park was looking pretty packed by that point.

— Ed Masley

Read the review:Biggest bands to come out of Phoenix in decades felt 'part of something loud' at Hance Park

Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest kicks off

Paramore was set to headline the first night of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest in downtown Phoenix. Thursday’s concert kicked off at 8 p.m. with the Cardinal’s Budda Baker announcing the Bleachers as the opening act.

At 6:30 fans lined up outside Footprint Center for night one of the music festival.

— Endia Fontanez

Fans line up at Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix for the start of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on Feb. 9, 2023.
Fans line up at Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix for the start of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on Feb. 9, 2023.

Future site of Arizona’s largest hotel will host 'dancing drones' after the Super Bowl

State Farm Stadium’s new neighbor will introduce itself to the world after the Super Bowl. VAI Resort, the upcoming 1,200-room resort hotel on Cardinals Way across the street from the stadium, will stage a 10-minute light show consisting of 400 “dancing drones” after the big game.

Each drone will use RBG and LED lights to become its own pixel and feature three-dimensional animations showcasing highlights of VAI Resort’s features, which include artificial islands designed to resemble Mediterranean beach destinations and a 360-degree concert stage, with premium viewing from hotel room balconies that will host music and comedy performances. Resort staff created the display in conjunction with Pixis Drones, a company that designs and creates drone performances.

The performance is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Arizona time, or one hour after the Super Bowl ends, according to VAI Resort.

VAI Resort, which will have the most rooms of any Arizona hotel when it opens, was listed as one of The Arizona Republic’s upcoming hotels and renovations to watch out for in 2023. It was previously scheduled to debut in late 2023, but staff now anticipate opening in 2024.

— Michael Salerno

Metro Phoenix sports bars gear up for Eagles and Chiefs fans

Phoenix is home to two Eagles fan clubs, Eagles West and Eagles Zone, and one Kansas City fan club, Arizona Chiefs Kingdom. Each group has a favorite gathering place for knocking back a few cold drinks and cheering on their teams.

To make sure you don't end up in enemy territory, we've put together a guide to where to cheer for your team at the best Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs fan bars in metro Phoenix.

— Bahar Anooshahr

The crowds are already assembling at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix

Lines are forming at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix ahead of the Super Bowl Experience.
Lines are forming at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix ahead of the Super Bowl Experience.

The Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9. But 30 minutes before the gates opened, fans were already lined up down the block.

Getting into downtown Phoenix is also slow going, as there are multiple street closures and lots of visitors for the multiple events taking place from the Convention Center to Hance Park.

— Endia Fontanez

Heading downtown for a Super Bowl experience? Skip the vendors and check out some new bars and restaurants

The downtown Phoenix food and beverage scene is booming and seven buzzy new bars and restaurants recently joined the mix offering Sinaloan, northern Mexican, Mediterranean and North African cuisines. Most of the bars focus on cocktails, with some beer and wine options available as well.

If you're at the Convention Center or Hance Park, skip the $20 hot dogs and try one of these seven new bars and restaurants instead.

— Bahar Anooshahr

Visitors and locals should consider easy Arizona day trips and quick overnight getaways

Visitors who’d like to explore Arizona beyond the Valley of the Sun have plenty of options, from historic Old West relics in Tortilla Flat and Jerome to striking natural landmarks like Sedona’s red rocks and the Grand Canyon.

In fact, Sedona was just rated one of the most popular U.S. destinations among TripAdvisor users in the 2023 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Just know that it’ll be much cooler — downright cold — if you head to Arizona’s high-elevation destinations. You’ll want to have plenty of warm clothes and be prepared for changes in weather that could bring winter driving conditions.

For locals, consider escaping the crowds. We have plenty of amazing places to go. Read our full list of day trip ideas.

— Michael Salerno

What’s more Arizona than a cactus? The 44-foot saguaro at Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park

What’s more Arizona than a cactus? Maybe a 44-foot tall Lycra-covered saguaro? There’s one standing in Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix as part of the Super Bowl Experience presented by Lowe’s, which kicks off at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. It’s kind of goofy during the daytime, but at night its 20,000 LED bulbs turn it into a work of art.

And it has a DJ stand up top.

Mike Murray, the artist who created the 2020 piece “Dumpster Fire” that gained some renown — it was a literal dumpster he set on fire at various locations — also created the cactus.

“It’s a little nicer than ‘Dumpster Fire,’” Murray said of the cactus. “It’s a little better occasion to celebrate.”

Here's a guide to checking out the cactus and the experience at Hance Park.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Rihanna in Phoenix talking about the Apple Music halftime show: 'Cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes'

Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show talent Rihanna participates in a moderated conversation with Apple Music Radio’s Nadeska Alexis during a news conference in Phoenix on Feb. 9, 2023.
Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show talent Rihanna participates in a moderated conversation with Apple Music Radio’s Nadeska Alexis during a news conference in Phoenix on Feb. 9, 2023.

Rihanna was in downtown Phoenix on Thursday morning fielding questions ahead of the Apple Music Super Bowl halftime show at State Farm Stadium.

“It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on,” she said. “And I never could have guessed that I would make it here.”

She said the halftime show would be a celebration of her catalog and that “trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes” was the biggest challenge. “Some songs we have to lose because of that,” she said. “But I think we’ve done a good job of narrowing it down.”

— Ed Masley

Philly- and KC-inspired foods and free pizza for National Pizza day at Ghett Yo restaurants

Ghett Yo restaurants created tacos, pizza and wings to cater to Philadelpha and Kansas City fans all week and through the big day. The themes are “Love Hurts Philly Special” and “Magic Mahomes KC BBQ.” And on Thursday, Feb. 9, Ghett Yo Pizza is giving away free 10-inch cheese pizzas in honor of National Pizza Day.

Ghett Yo Tacos (241 W. Oregon St., Chandler. 480-726-9654, is offering a Love Hurts Philly Special with ribeye steak, grilled onions and green pepper with mozzarella cheese melted between two flour tortillas and topped with a Cheez Whiz drizzle. And the Magic Mahomes KC BBQ: Smoked pulled pork, bacon, pickled onion and jalapeno, mozzarella, drizzled with a Kansas City barbecue sauce.

At Ghett Yo Pizza (4747 E. Elliot Road, Phoenix. 480-590-3639, you can try Love Hurts pizza with Cheez Whiz sauce, ribeye steak, onion, green pepper and jalapeno or Magic Mahomes that comes topped with barbecue sauce, smoked pulled pork, bacon, onion, jalapeno and mozzarella.

Ghett Yo Wings (Christown Spectrum, 1703 W. Bethany Home Road, Suite E03, Phoenix. 602-899-4335, versions involve Love Hurts wings prepared with Heinz ketchup, Frank’s RedHot, A1 sauce and a blend of spices and Magic Mahomes wings made with Original KC BBQ sauce.

— Bahar Anooshahr

Stephen A. Smith is in Old Town where ESPN shows are broadcasting live this week

Stephen A. Smith is on the set of “First Take,” his daily ESPN show, which is being broadcast from Old Town Scottsdale during Super Bowl week.

Richard Hudson, who lives in Tucson, but grew up in Philadelphia, drove to Scottsdale just to see Smith.“He was in Philly when I was in Philly,” Hudson said. “I read him in the Inquirer.”

Stephen A. Smith, host of "First Take" on ESPN, was at the Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate in Scottsdale on Feb. 9, 2023. The event is in advance of Super Bowl 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Stephen A. Smith, host of "First Take" on ESPN, was at the Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate in Scottsdale on Feb. 9, 2023. The event is in advance of Super Bowl 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Hudson likes Smith because, he said, “Everyone can talk. He listens to what you say. He’ll get the facts before he comes at you. He’ll let you speak a little bit, but then he‘ll come at you.”

There will be live broadcasts from the ESPN stage on Main Street through the weekend.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Old Town ESPN Super tailgate party:Your guide to all the food and drinks

Super Bowl Experience returns for another weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center

The 2023 Super Bowl Experience kicked off last Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center, welcoming hordes of football fans who tried kicking a field goal, collected autographs from their favorite football players and took photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In addition to the autograph signings, celebrities like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Chambers were also seen attending the event with their families last Sunday, Feb. 5.

The experience kicks off again on Feb. 9 and will run 3 – 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday.

Wondering what to eat? Concession stands inside the Convention Center are selling hot dogs, cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, churro dogs and more. A few local businesses also have snack stands at the Super Bowl Experience, including Karen's Kreamery and Mustache Pretzels.

Here is a full dining guide for the 2023 Super Bowl Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center.

— Endia Fontanez

Meet the most beloved Arizona Cardinal of all time

You can debate who the best Arizona Cardinal of all time is, but not the most beloved. That’s Larry Fitzgerald, easy. And you have a chance to meet him on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods at Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Road. You can request an autograph and pose for photos at the event.

— Bill Goodykoontz 

Day 2 of ESPN's Old Town tailgate party is underway

True to form, the Old West-themed tailgate had a cowboy with a lasso.
True to form, the Old West-themed tailgate had a cowboy with a lasso.

The Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street tailgate party is running 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Super Bowl Sunday, when festivities will end at noon. If you didn't make it to opening day, or even if you did, it's worth checking out the Old West-themed party where roaming cowboys sing and spin lassos in the street, live music plays and restaurants serve food and drinks from stands on Main Street. Grab a hot chicken sandwich from Belle’s Nashville Kitchen or a soppressata and provolone grinder from Piccolo Virtu. It's worth a one-block detour to check out the historic Sugar Bowl soda fountain for dessert. I suggest the Top Hat Sundae.

The coffee and pastry vendor starts serving at 8 a.m., but for other food options, you'll have to wait until 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.

— Bahar Anooshahr

Annual Night of Pride underway in downtown Phoenix

The second annual Night of Pride with GLAAD and NFL kicked off at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown with appearances by drag queens, reality TV stars and sports figures on the purple carpet.

Lance Bass of NSYNC fame — the host for the evening — gamely showcased a Smirnoff cocktail for the cameras and told The Arizona Republic, "To be visible is amazing. … I feel like the tide is really turning in sports. For so long no one really paid attention to the gay players or the gay fans and now we're just out and proud and enjoying it."

"I opened my sports bar in WeHo a few years ago and the biggest question I get is, like, 'Do gays like sports?' Yes we love sports, we do."

Arizona's two "RuPaul's Drag Race" stars, Tempest DuJour and Joey Jay, also did a step-and-repeat down the carpet. Meredith Marks of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" told The Republic that she had just come from the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. She's been "pretty low key here" while unwinding from her Europe trip and stayed in Dove Mountain just north of Tucson.

The rest of the evening consists of a panel on LGBTQ+ inclusion in professional sports and a performance by Betty Who.

— KiMi Robinson

Largest Super Bowl mural to date is an Indigenous work of art

The largest Super Bowl mural to date was painted on the wall of the Monarch Theater in downtown Phoenix, and it is an Indigenous work of art.

On Tuesday, artist Lucinda “La Morena” Hinojos, accompanied by the collective of Indigenous artists who worked on the mural and NFL representatives, unveiled it to the public.

The 9,500-square-foot mural was painted on the wall of the Monarch Theater on Washington Street, between First and Second streets, and is a symbol of Indigenous collaboration and underscores the importance of maintaining community and unity, Hinojos said.

Everything, from the color of the sky, the Apache woman depicted honoring the land and the 22 diamonds that sit on the mountain range are representative of the community hosting this year’s Super Bowl.

— Javier Arce

Where to see (and buy) this Phoenix artist's limited-edition Super Bowl 57 football

NFL fans, collectors and fans of Phoenix artist Lucinda Hinojos — aka La Morena — can get their hands on the Wilson x La Morena Super Bowl 57 limited-edition football this week. The design includes Hinojos’ Arizona-inspired Super Bowl 57 logo and her signature hummingbird motif.

It’ll be on sale for $150 at the Super Bowl Experience at Phoenix Convention Center from Feb. 9-11. The ball will also be sold on

— KiMi Robinson

ESPN's Mina Kimes makes dining plans in Scottsdale

If you’re looking for places to eat and drink in the Valley during Super Bowl week, you could do worse than to follow Mina Kimes’ Twitter account.

Kimes, the ESPN NFL analyst from Gilbert who will return to Arizona for the game, asked a simple question on Twitter: “Phoenix peeps: bar recommendations for downtown or Scottsdale? Been a long time since I’ve been home….”

The answers range from the genuinely helpful — Coach House in Scottsdale comes up, which is an excellent choice, as is Arizona Wilderness — to the funny.

“There are no bars in Scottsdale,” one person responded. “It’s a dry county now. Sorry.”

Kimes replied, “About a million people are in for a big surprise next week.”

— Bill Goodykoontz

A Scottsdale vintage boutique gets into the Rihanna spirit

What is Super Bowl 57 if not a Rihanna concert bookended by a football game?

Vintage by Misty seems to agree. The boutique in Scottsdale, whose vintage luxury apparel and accessories have been seen on celebrities including Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna herself, has decked out its storefront display with cutouts of the singer’s face and “RiRi LVII.”

There’s entirely too much NFL spirit in this area of Old Town Scottsdale, including at the ESPN Main Street Tailgate. Justice for the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show’s Rihanna comeback!

— KiMi Robinson 

How to watch Rihanna's halftime show:What channel, when to tune in to Super Bowl 2023

A TikTok-famous Phoenix restaurant is making outrageous Super Bowl foods for a shot at $5,000

AZ Taco Kings grew its business on TikTok from two employees and a food cart to 20 employees and a brick-and-mortar restaurant. So, it's no wonder they are participating in TikTok’s Gridiron Grub Contest.

Participants enter TikTok videos of their most outrageous Super Bowl 57 dishes from now until Feb. 12, after which TikTok will choose five winners based on creativity, food appeal and storytelling. Each winner will be awarded $5,000.

AZ Taco Kings entered two of its dishes, loaded fries and birria pizza, both of which are available to order at the restaurant.

Details: 2030 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-675-0923,

— Bahar Anooshahr

12-year-old from Gilbert named kid correspondent. How she's covering the Super Bowl

Julia Crossley, a 12-year-old from Gilbert, is covering the Super Bowl as the kid correspondent for “Good Morning America.”

Julia learned in January that she was chosen as the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid; Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz and Big Red, the team’s mascot, told her on-air that she had won.

“Julia's dedication to creating a healthier school community made her a natural fit as this year's NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid,” the NFL said in a statement. “She has become a leader at school through her involvement in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, the nation's largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program. With her Fuel Up to Play 60 Team, Julia volunteers and helps others learn strategies to stay healthy and be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.

“She participated in a breakfast cookoff with her classmates to show other students what a healthy breakfast that includes dairy looks like and continuously helps to host fun runs at her school throughout the year to show how physical activity can be enjoyable. Julia also plays FLAG football, contributing to her staying active and leading an NFL PLAY 60 lifestyle.”

Julia is already filing stories, including one from Monday’s Super Bowl Opening Night.

In addition to participating in several Super Bowl events leading up to the game, Julia also will be recognized at halftime during the game at State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Is hosting the Super Bowl worth it?

This week there are parties in Scottsdale, concerts in downtown Phoenix and the game itself in Glendale. Experts predict that a large percentage of people attending are going to be from out of town, spending their money in the Valley. The state is projected to make hundreds of millions of dollars off of Super Bowl 57, but at what cost?

This week on The Gaggle hosts Ron Hansen and Mary Jo Pitzl are joined by Arizona Republic reporter Corina Vanek and associate professor of finance Dr. Ryan Brewer to dissect the costs and answer the question: is it worth it to host the Super Bowl?

— Amanda Luberto

Tostitos is opening a pop-up restaurant in downtown Phoenix

In celebration of Super Bowl 57, Tostitos is opening a pop-up restaurant in downtown Phoenix called Tost by Tostitos. All menu items are made with the tortilla chips, including the likes of Tostitos shrimp fritters, street tacos with Tostitos toppers and Tostitos elotes.

The pop-up restaurant will be open Thursday, Feb. 9, to Friday, Feb. 11, at the Roosevelt Row Welcome Center, 918 N. Second St.

Also on site is an art installation by four local artists about how food and culture bring people together. The piece was made in collaboration with the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation.

— Endia Fontanez 

Santa showed up in Scottsdale to root for both teams

Santa showed up in Old Town Scottsdale at the ESPN tailgate event to root for both teams in Super Bowl 57.
Santa showed up in Old Town Scottsdale at the ESPN tailgate event to root for both teams in Super Bowl 57.

At the Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate, we bumped into Santa sporting a green top in honor of the Eagles and red pants in honor of the chiefs. He's rooting for both teams. “I just want a high-scoring game,” he said.

— Bahar Anooshahr

Hance Park prepares to welcome the Super Bowl Experience

The saguaro-shaped obstacles, food and beverage tents and the main stage are set up and nearly ready to go a day ahead of the Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park, which will begin on Thursday, Feb. 9. The downtown Phoenix food and music festival will see Jimmy Eat World and Gin Blossoms share a stage for the first time and will offer attendees the chance to taste lots of local bites.

Purchasing food at the NFL event will set you back anywhere from $5.50 (plus tax) for lemonade to $21.75 for chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese from Macology.

Some other offerings in the AZ tailgate area include an all-beef pretzel dog ($8.50) from Mustache Pretzels, a set of eight Nepali dumplings with various fillings and sauces from Mr. Momo ($16), loaded nachos with freshly kettled tortilla chips and seasoned beef or chicken from Kettled ($17), a Salvadoran three-item plate ($20) and seasoned beef or chicken fry bread ($17) from Fry Bread. Over on the south side of the park you'll find meat and vegan burgers ($18) at the Burger Spot, lobster mac and cheese ($24) at Coast 2 Coast and pineapple teriyaki chicken ($18) at Hot Bamboo.

Over at the craft beer bar, expect to fork over $9 for a locally brewed beer. Options include Mother Road Conserve and Protect, Motosonora Belly Tank Blonde Ale, Lumberyard Railhead Red, Barrio Cirazona IPA and Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA.

— KiMi Robinson

What you need to know before you go:Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park survival guide

Meet ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in Tempe tonight

Stephen A. Smith, ESPN’s biggest personality (and its most polarizing figure) is signing books at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Smith, the host of the show “First Take” will sign copies of his book “Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes,” in which Smith discusses his upbringing, basketball career at Winston-Salem State University, his newspaper career and his rise, fall and rise again at ESPN, among other subjects.

There will be two sessions of signings, one at 5 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. Registration and a ticket are required. Copies of the book are available for pickup at the event, not before. One photo per person is allowed.

Tickets are $33.90 each and available at Changing Hand’s Tempe is located at 6428 S. McClintock Drive.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Taco Bell Mexican Pizza is back in Arizona. And this time, it's supersized

Taco Bell is giving select fans a chance to spice up their Super Bowl party with a brand-new 'Big A** Mexican Pizza'. The new dish is four times the size of a regular Mexican Pizza and comes in a bundle with Crispy Chicken Wings, Taco Party Packs, Nachos Party Pack, Cinnamon Twists, Hot Sauce and Starry soda.

If you weren't selected, you can still score a regular-sized Mexican Pizza for free with any $20 purchase in the Taco Bell app. Or you can skip the Bell and try one of these local versions instead.

— Endia Fontanez

Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate is in full swing

A crowd of fans gathers at the ESPN tailgate party in Old Town Scottsdale on Feb. 8.
A crowd of fans gathers at the ESPN tailgate party in Old Town Scottsdale on Feb. 8.

The crowd is rolling in to the ESPN tailgate party on Old Town Scottsdale's Main Street. Chef Gio Osso of Piccolo Virtù is setting up and will start serving his signature Italian dishes at 11 a.m. While most food and drink options will be available after 10 a.m., Yellow Spruce coffee is up and running to fuel Chiefs and Eagles fans who have already started chanting for their teams.

This free, five-day Old West-style football pregame party in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale runs daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday. Find additional information about live entertainment and parking at

— Bahar Anooshahr

Investigation:They are the NFL's most-honored players. Why did their nonprofits often spend so little on charity?

Kansas City’s 'Potato Girl' will be at State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl 57

Lay’s is sponsoring Niki Conrad, aka Potato Girl, to attend the Super Bowl.

"Two weeks ago, KC fan Nicki Conrad went viral for enjoying a baked potato out of her pocket at a playoff game," Lay's said in a press release. "Potatoes are at the heart of everything Lay’s does, so we couldn’t help celebrating our shared love of potatoes."

Conrad tweeted: “From KC Potato Girl to Lay’s Potato Girl! I am so excited to share that I will be attending Super Bowl LVII to help cheer on my team all thanks to @LAYS and our shared love of potatoes!"

— Bahar Anooshahr 

The biggest, most star-studded Super Bowl parties in metro Phoenix start Wednesday night

The 2023 Super Bowl is bringing some of the biggest celebrities, musical acts and brands to the Phoenix area ahead of the NFL's championship game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale — and locals and visitors alike are invited to party with them all week long.

NFL legend Rob Gronkowski is hosting a beach party; NBA star Shaquille O'Neal will be the ringmaster of a carnival-slash-music festival. WWE stars Nikki and Brie Bella will mingle with fans, and the Chainsmokers, Diplo, Zedd, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon and Machine Gun Kelly will hype people up during the big game weekend.

Events are happening all across town, from Scottsdale in the east to Chandler in the south to Glendale in the West Valley. They cater to a range of budgets, from free to tens of thousands of dollars. Here’s a guide to the glitziest happenings.

— KiMi Robinson 

At Fox Sports Media Day, a peek inside the media metaverse

Fox Sports Media Day at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday was a chance for the media to report on … itself.

The event starred the NFL on Fox broadcasters — Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, who will call the game — and members of the studio show, including Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long.

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Journalists crowded and waited their turn to ask questions of, say, Jay Glazer, the network’s NFL insider. No one ever broke any substantial news at an event like this, but it’s still fun.

For Burkhardt and Olsen, seated on a stage, reporters and camera crews waited in line for a brief audience, kind of like what you’d see at a wedding reception. Or a visitation before a funeral.

Sideline reporter Erin Andrews was up there, too, along with Richie Zyontz, who will produce the TV broadcast.

—  Bill Goodykoontz

These Arizona creatives made exclusive Super Bowl collections. Here's how to get the merchandise

The NFL has collaborated with four Arizona-born brands to create a unique Super Bowl 57 merchandise collection that fans can shop online and in person.

The exclusive merchandise lines will be revealed during a pop-up launch event with refreshments and live entertainment on Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Tempe. Those who can't shop in person can purchase select styles from the collection starting Feb. 9 at

Here’s everything to know about the artists and how to RSVP for the pop-up shopping event.

— KiMi Robinson

5 Phoenix restaurants get some love from Wilmer Valderrama, Pepsi

Actor, producer and activist Wilmer Valderrama teamed up with PepsiCo Juntos Crecemos to give five metro Phoenix Hispanic-owned restaurants $10,000 each. The money will help with raw materials and business plans to ready the restaurants for the influx of Super Bowl fans.

The restaurants that received the support are Phoenix Coqui, Rosita’s Place, Carnicería MéxicoImelda Happy Tamales and Tacos Tijuana.

— Bahar Anooshahr 

New this year: Fenty Super Bowl merch. Here's where to get it

The Super Bowl 57 NFL Shop will be open all week at the Phoenix Convention Center, offering the largest collection of official merchandise including jerseys, T-shirts and hoodies.

The biggest merch news this year is that Rihanna’s fashion and beauty brands Savage X Fenty and Fenty Beauty will be at the NFL Shop with exclusive, limited-edition collections and personalized makeup shade matching.

Fenty products for sale include a Savage X Fenty two-tone varsity fashion jersey and a Savage X Fenty cropped jersey, both with the NFL logo. Fenty Beauty will have a Gloss Bomb and stadium bag combo, among other products.

Here’s everything to know about the NFL Shop, including pop-up locations.

— Michael Salerno

You could be a Super Bowl 2023 TV extra. Here's how

There are a lot of ways to participate in the madness surrounding the Super Bowl. Some involve being on TV — and getting paid for it.

Hundreds of extras are needed to appear in Super Bowl-related broadcasts. It’s free to apply and the gigs pay between $60 and $200. The roles range from standing in the crowd for a red-carpet arrival to being in the audience for a talk show to basically hitting a Scottsdale club — only at Footprint Center.

Details are somewhat limited, but to apply, go to and click the green “Super Bowl Casting!” button.

— Bill Goodykoontz

Meet the Chainsmokers when they sign tequila bottles at Total Wine

The Chainsmokers are everywhere this week, playing the Birds Nest at the Phoenix Open and Sports Illustrated’s SI the Party in Scottsdale. On the same day! (Saturday, Feb. 11, that is.) If you want to get up close and personal with the EDM duo, though, your best is an in-store bottle signing for Jaja Tequila at Total Wine's Camelback Center location at 1670 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix from 6:45-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. Does this mean we have no idea where the Chainsmokers will be on Friday, Feb. 10? For now, it does. Stay tuned?

— Ed Masley 

Where to eat in metro Phoenix? Here are 100 delicious options

Whether you live in the Valley of the Sun or are visiting this week for the WM Phoenix Open in Scottsdale or Super Bowl 57 in Glendale, make every meal count. The Arizona Republic’s 100 essential restaurants list is the ultimate guide to the best eats metro Phoenix has to offer, from taco shops to steak houses.

— Felicia Campbell

No suspects identified in $100k theft from NFL Experience vendor

A third-party vendor for the NFL Experience in Phoenix reported a theft of several items with the value of $100,000 on Sunday.

The NFL Experience store opened on Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center, selling a large variety of NFL products and Super Bowl LVII memorabilia

The theft did not happen in the NFL Experience store but at a nearby parking garage near 200 East Washington Street, according to NFL spokesperson Sgt. Brian McCarthy.

Detectives with the Phoenix Police Department were still investigating the theft and did not have new details on the stolen items or possible suspects to release Monday evening.

Phoenix police were asking anyone with information on this incident to call Phoenix police non-emergency or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.

— Sydney Carruth

Pepsi launches Arizona Super Bowl 2023 bottles

For Super Bowl 57, Pepsi designed an aluminum bottle for Pepsi Zero Sugar that's inspired by the Arizona desert's flora and fauna, featuring cactus, coyotes, birds and snakes. A gradient from purple to orange signifies the desert sunrise. The nods to football include a football star constellation and a football player. Other surprises are hidden. The limited edition bottles are available for purchase at major local retailers in Phoenix.

— Bahar Anooshahr

Going to a Super Bowl event in downtown Phoenix? Light rail is free

Valley Metro is offering free light rail rides to and from Super Bowl week events in Phoenix at the Footprint Center (including Monday’s Super Bowl Opening Night event), Phoenix Convention Center and Margaret T. Hance Park.

The light rail stops at Third Street/Jefferson and Third Street/Washington are closest to the Footprint Center and the convention center. The Roosevelt/Central Avenue and McDowell/Central Avenue stops are closest to Hance Park.

The free ride offer is only valid for light rail, not the bus.Here are all the details on the free rides.

— Michael Salerno

The ultimate guide:Everything to know about Super Bowl 2023

How to see the AFC and NFC championship trophies in Scottsdale

Chances are you will never hoist an NFC or AFC conference championship trophy in real life. (Apologies to J.J. Watt; that’s got to hurt.)

However, you can gaze upon the trophies in person. They are on display daily through Sunday at Tiffany & Co. at Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday — also known as game day.

— Bill Goodykoontz 

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Say hello to the 2023 Super Bowl commercials

Every year someone says they only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.

Well, now you don’t have to bother with the Super Bowl part. Cashing in on instant gratification, many — though not all — companies now release commercials before the game. Adweek magazine is compiling them on a site as they’re released. Some big ones, too, like Alicia Silverstone reprising her Cher role from “Clueless” for Rakuten. Or Jon Hamm and Brie Larson for Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Ham and cheese, get it? Pete Davidson shows up, too. (“He really is everywhere,” Hamm says.)

USA TODAY will once again rate Super Bowl commercials with its Ad Meter. You can register as a panelist beginning Wednesday.

— Bill Goodykoontz 

Let's go:Your guide to Super Bowl 2023 parties and celebrity experiences in Phoenix

Dave Matthews Band’s first 2023 concert is Super Bowl Music Fest

Every Dave Matthews Band concert is special if that’s what you’re into. But there’s something especially special about their appearance Friday, Feb. 10, at Footprint Center, where they’re scheduled to headline the second day of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. It’s the band’s first concert of the new year – a fact they found relevant enough to share in a Facebook post that ended with: “We can’t wait to see you all again.” They’ve been off the road since mid-November, when they played a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden.

— Ed Masley 

Where are the Chiefs and Eagles staying? These swanky hotels

Ahead of Super Bowl 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs are staying at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch on Doubletree Ranch Road in Scottsdale. With the McDowell Mountains as a backdrop, the resort has a spa and fitness center, an adults-only pool with a bar and a water park with a three-story water slide and a sandy beach. Among the restaurant options are six-seat Noh for sushi and sashimi and SWB, a Southwest Bistro, with wood-fired ovens and an open kitchen.

The Philadelphia Eagles are staying at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass on the Gila River Indian Reservation just south of Phoenix. The design of the hotel reflects the history and culture of the Pima (Akimel O'otham) and Maricopa (Pee Posh) tribes. The menu at the award-winning Kai restaurant changes frequently and incorporates Indigenous and traditional ingredients. The resort includes four pools, golf, tennis and an equestrian center, plus kayaking, paddleboarding and boat rides on a 2.5-mile river.

— Jill Cassidy

Is Kevin Jonas rooting for the Chiefs or Eagles?

The Republic caught up with the eldest of the Jonas Brothers, Kevin, who was in Glendale to unveil Courtyard by Marriott’s sleepover suite inside State Farm Stadium.

Jonas recently celebrated his legacy being cemented on a Hollywood Walk of Fame star — an emotional event, he said — with his brothers, family members and bandmates. The band is also releasing their sixth studio album, “The Album,” on May 5. He calls it “the best body of work, in my opinion, we've ever put together.”

Though he was unsure whether he and his family would be in town for the Super Bowl, he did have a take on whom he’d like to see win the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 12.

“I’m gonna have to go with the Kansas City Chiefs because I’m a Giants fan and can’t pick the Eagles,” Jonas said. “Our good friend Pat Mahomes, you know, he’s our boy. So we’ll see.”

— KiMi Robinson

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What to expect at Super Bowl Opening Night at Footprint Center

Footprint Center is the place to be on Monday, Feb. 6, when the players and coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will make their first public appearance of the week at "the national kickoff to Super Bowl LVII."

It's the only time this week that the teams will be in one location ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

Starting at 6 p.m., Super Bowl Opening Night will also feature live entertainment, special appearances and autographs by NFL Legends and team mascots. Attendees can expect fan photo opportunities and the chance to see Super Bowl players and coaches up close and listen to players answer questions from the media.

Fans will also have the chance to win prizes, including two tickets to Super Bowl LVII by checking in with the Super Bowl OnePass app. Tickets are $20, available at

Ed Masley

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Super Bowl 2023 comes to dramatic end after Rihanna, celeb appearances