The countdown is on to the Super Bowl and we’re thinking about all the work that host cities put into their landscaping aesthetics before the big game. After all, NFL legend Deion Sanders was right—“If you look good, you play good.” And when your city looks its best for the biggest event in the world, fans will be eager to revisit and tell friends and family about it.
It can be easy to overlook the role of commercial landscaping companies play within the immense scale of all the work that cities do as a part of their Super Bowl preparations, but make no mistake that we can play a key role. Not to mention all the other surrounding local government officials and business owners who want to help their city shine. Similar to a running back spiking the ball after the winning touchdown—there was major teamwork from unsung heroes who cleared the way for that big win.
So let’s take a look at what goes into a city hosting a Super Bowl through the lens of landscaping (and we’ll get back to that Deion Sanders quote later to show why it’s crucial to look your best with any event coming to your city).
Training Camp: The Early Stages of Game Day Prep
There’s no question that the hosting committee wants the best landscaping company available when the Super Bowl is rolling into town. But the scope and scale of this mega-event can make even large landscaping companies as nervous as a kicker with the game on the line, knowing they only get one chance to knock it down the middle of the goal posts. A company with the steady nerve of Adam Vinatieri, a soon-to-be Hall of Fame kicker, is a must.
First off, there are serious time constraints.
Did you know that all construction and major landscaping enhancements near the host stadium must be completed one year before the game?
The NFL means business when it comes to their biggest game of the year, and with good reason. Security is the prime concern, with hundreds of thousands of people flooding into a city and eyes around the globe watching. They can’t afford any last-minute mistakes or overdue projects delaying final preparations for the game.
Of course, the decorations and aesthetics inside the stadium are usually handled by the host stadium’s crew, but TV viewers rarely see the renovations and constant sprucing up that’s been happening outside the stadium for months before the camera crews rolled into town. Downtown hotel landscaping, park designs, and office building lawns aren’t featured on Super Bowl telecasts, but fans who make the trip into town will certainly notice.
A top-tier landscaping company makes sure those fans’ trips are memorable by using the perfect plants and trees for the local ecosystem. The right people at the right time for the right result can’t be overstated. Just ask Tampa Bay fans whose team brought Tom Brady in, and the payoff was an immediate Super Bowl title.
Extra Points For Aesthetics & Functionality
When those lucky fans holding Super Bowl tickets arrive at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas this year, they’ll be blown away by the technology and amenities inside the stadium, but there will also be plenty of landscape work on display, even in the urban desert of downtown Las Vegas. Tall palm trees lining the walkways, native desert grasses, colorful flowers, and crushed granite; all work together to create a positive and energetic atmosphere for everyone attending. The same thing goes for legions of media, athletes, and celebrities on the scene. And it's impossible not to mention the state-of-the-art system that moves the entire field surface outside on a giant conveyor to nourish the field turf with sunlight.
What doesn’t get noticed? When everything goes smoothly, fans will hardly pay any attention at all to the work it takes to keep the area around the stadium tidy. And that’s the ideal outcome.
It’s like a football game where you don’t notice the refs because they did their jobs, and the game flowed seamlessly. But when things fail to go as planned, people always notice. For major events, this could mean accessibility issues, poor lighting, or crowd flow problems that create safety hazards.
Similarly, in landscaping, these oversights can take a different form. Picture sidewalks fractured and invaded by weeds, sprawling and neglected turf, or tree branches broken and strewn about, creating barriers and posing safety risks. Much like unnoticed referees, well-maintained landscapes often remain unacknowledged, yet their deterioration quickly attracts negative public attention.
Landscapers are among the many unseen heroes when things run smoothly at big events. They have the same detailed mindset of three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, who famously had his football uniforms professionally tailored for a precision fit. Real pros like him look for any small detail to create any advantage they can.
There are even more considerations after the final whistle blows beyond fan safety and convenience as they exit the stadium. For starters, the surrounding grounds can’t remain perfectly pristine after the game. Turf and shrubs will get trampled, along with flowers, and even signs can be damaged. So, a budget for replacement and repairs should be in place, as well as continued maintenance and upkeep of the surrounding areas after the big game.
The good news is that if the landscaping company practices world-class sustainability for a world-class event, the native plants and trees used will endure for years (and require less upkeep). The city could also be in better shape than before the game since natural innovations like vertical gardens can improve air quality and reduce noise.
In garden spaces that border busy public areas or paths, where the risk of incidental damage or littering is higher, choosing the right type of plants is crucial. Annuals are a cost-effective and colorful solution in these scenarios. Unlike perennials, which return each year, annuals complete their life cycle in one season, making them less of a financial burden when replacement is necessary.
Modern Super Bowl Challenges
Back in Super Bowl I, the Packers and Chiefs didn’t have the pressure of thundering herds of fans showing up or millions of event photos popping up online. The stadium wasn’t even sold out, and the halftime show was a local marching band. But even then, Vince Lombardi thought the upstart league had come a long way from the days of “playing football in cow pastures.”
Fast forward to 2024, and you could argue that there are as many media personalities covering the game (live and online) as there were fans at Super Bowl I. This means there are no unseen areas of the host city now. From the airport to the stadium, and all areas in between, the whole city, and all their planning efforts, are on full display.
Every square inch needs to be pristine and kept pristine for the entire two-week period before the big show. You don’t want patchy commercial lawns, flower beds with weeds, or muddy walkways popping up on SportsCenter. Just as bad? Landscaping lowlights featured on local influencers' Instagram feeds.
That’s why a pro’s pro is mandatory for mega-event landscaping. An industry veteran who can make ‘in-game’ adjustments even Bill Belichick would be proud of…
- Having replacement plants at the ready
- Monitoring high-traffic areas for safety issues
- Watching weather patterns closely
Why worry about the weather?
The Game's On The Line
While it may seem like perfect weather is a given (Super Bowl host cities are predominantly fair-weather locations), Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. A case in point was the Rams’ and Titans’ epic battle in Atlanta’s Super Bowl XXXIV. Georgia sees little snow, but a storm blew into town that week, making travel difficult since the city doesn't normally have to prepare for icy streets and sidewalks.
With unpredictable weather, it pays to have a national landscaping company with all-weather experience from across the country.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we’ve been part of the preparation for two recent Super Bowl host cities’ landscaping—last year in Glendale, Arizona, and also in Houston, Texas in 2017. We’re honored to be a part of creating environments built for champions and helping all those football-loving fans feel welcomed by our cities.
All-Pro Landscaping Enhances A Fan's Experience
As special as the Super Bowl is, it’s easy to overlook how it’s becoming even more unique. In a world of endless media options and fractured attention, this event still attracts over a hundred million viewers. This gives a city an incredible marketing opportunity to showcase itself and its surrounding areas.
So, the landscaping company working with the city should incorporate local culture and themes, highlighting what makes the host city unique and worth a return visit. This year’s Las Vegas desert vibe will be quite different from recent host locations like Los Angeles or Tampa.
Super Bowl Host City's Landscaping Wrap-Up
The key takeaway? Though few cities get the shot at hosting a Super Bowl, every city has large-scale events that mean something important to its residents. Once your city gets a couple of these events under its belt, momentum helps ensure bigger events will follow.
This matters so much more for cities seeking new ways to generate more revenue. Last year, Super Bowl LVI was expected to add around $477 million to Los Angeles’ local economy. It is an incredible figure, and it highlights how attracting events can lead to revenue increases. But this kind of economic impact doesn’t only come from the biggest events in the world.
Your city needs to shine no matter what event is coming to town, so visitors enjoy the experience and are encouraged to plan a return trip. Commercial landscaping is vital to that effort as part of the infrastructure—perhaps, the most attractive aspect of it.
Like Coach Prime said, looking good requires an investment, and the Super Bowl is the best example of how that investment can pay off in the short term and over the long haul.
When you need commercial landscaping that meets world-class expectations in your city, look to a professional company, trusted to create beautiful, welcoming environments for two Super Bowls, and countless other major events in cities across the country.. Choosing Yellowstone Landscape is choosing to have one less thing to worry about when it comes to your commercial landscaping projects, including those connected to mega-events like the Super Bowl. Contact us today.