For the third year in a row, this California lawmaker hosted a Super Bowl fundraiser

For the third consecutive year, former State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, hosted a fundraiser at Sunday’s Super Bowl.

It’s unclear how many people attended, or where in the stadium the fundraiser was held. The event was not held in a skybox, according to her campaign spokesman, Evan Westrup.

Westrup said that Atkins, who is running for governor in 2026, was in Las Vegas through the weekend.

These Super Bowl fundraisers — Atkins spent more than $222,000 in 2023 and more than $167,000 in 2022, according to campaign finance documents — are for Atkins’ “California Works” ballot measure committee, which raises money for ballot measures the senator backs.

Atkins’ campaign said that money from the 2022 fundraiser went toward supporting Proposition 1, to enshrine the right to an abortion in the California Constitution, while money from the 2023 fundraiser went toward the campaign to repeal 2008’s Proposition 8, which prohibits same-sex marriage.

However, both the 2022 and 2023 fundraisers took place before the ballot measures to protect abortion and undo Prop. 8 were introduced in the Legislature and later sent to voters to decide.

In an email statement to The Bee, Westrup wrote, “Sen. Atkins is proud to lead the fight to protect marriage equality in California and this event will support efforts to repeal Proposition 8.”

Atkins also used the occasion of the 2022 Super Bowl to raise money for her campaign for lieutenant governor at the time — campaign finance filings show she spent more than $18,000 on that fundraiser, a fraction of what she spent on the ballot measure fundraiser.

The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 25-22.

Tickets for the big game are hard to get.

According to the website Statista, a quarter of all Super Bowl tickets are reserved by the National Football League, another 35% go to the two teams competing. In 2023, 5% also went to the host team (the Arizona Cardinals). The remaining 35% go to the rest of the NFL teams.

In 2023, according to campaign finance filings, Atkins’ ballot measure committee paid the NFL more than $92,000 for tickets; in 2022, it was more than $88,000.

Atkins wasn’t the only Golden State official to visit the Silver State — California Gov. Gavin Newsom, too, came to Las Vegas to support the 49ers. It’s unclear how he acquired a ticket.

This story has been updated to reflect that money from Atkins’ 2022 and 2023 Super Bowl fundraisers went to support Proposition 1 and repeal Proposition 8, but that the fundraisers weren’t specifically for those ballot measures campaigns.