Big names eager to be part of the big game


LOS ANGELES — Giles Harrison, and perhaps the Superior Court judge he stood before, has a special appreciation for the upcoming Super Bowl.

It will be the first time in nearly three decades that the game has taken place here in the entertainment capital of the world, an especially enticing opportunity for paparazzi photographers such as Harrison.

In 1998, he was convicted of reckless driving and sentenced to 60 days in jail after chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver as they drove their 3-year-old son to preschool, according to court records and a report by the Los Angeles Times.

Harrison suggested the situation would be different with a galaxy of stars set to attend Super Bowl 56 on Sunday and VIP events and parties the week before the game.

“You don’t need (implantations) for this,” Harrison, 53, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s kind of like shooting fish out of a barrel.”

The SoFi Stadium, which cost billions to build and will serve as the site of the Super Bowl, is taking shape. That is to say, celebrities flock to the elegant 70,000-seat facility in Inglewood, in southwestern Los Angeles County.

Paris Hilton, LeBron James and the cast of “Ted Lasso” are among those who have dropped by this season to watch the Los Angeles Rams, who share SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Chargers. In recent weeks, celebrities spotted in the crowd have included Kate Hudson, Judd Apatow and comedian Leslie Jones.

The A-listers will be out in force on Super Bowl day, said Greg Links, who has helped host Super Bowl VIP parties for the past two decades.

“I would expect this to be the most star-studded Super Bowl ever,” Links told USA TODAY Sports. “It looks like everything is going full throttle.”

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic will be a staple of Super Bowl week.

Per state, county and city protocol, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required at all NFL sponsored events. Most VIP parties will take place at least partially outdoors, and some parties have been reduced in size as a safety measure.

Sports Illustrated’s annual party, which takes place on Saturday, has been moved to four-acre Century Park from Oprah Winfrey’s headquarters, said David Spencer, who as co-CEO of Talent Resources Sports organizes events for Sports Illustrated, Bloomberg and Neiman Marcus.

“We try to limit and mitigate the risks as best we can, he said.

But the risks of COVID-19 don’t seem to dampen the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl’s return to the Los Angeles area for the first time since 1993.

In fact, Spencer said high demand to attend events like Sports Illustrated The Party contributed to a 40% increase in costs compared to 2020, the last time most Super Bowl marquee parties had. place.

A sign of contraction: There will be no Playboy party.

Signs of expansion: Shaquille O’Neal has secured the cavernous downtown Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall for his fourth annual Shaq’s Fun House. And Maxim magazine added a second evening to its traditional evening.

“Both nights were simply born out of demand and interest, not just from attendees, but also from performers who wanted to take advantage of Super Bowl week,” said Doug Terfehr, vice president of brand marketing for MaximBet. , sports and online betting. casino brand that sponsors the Friday night party.

Maxim’s musical lineup will feature The Chainsmokers. It will be the Billboard Top 40 Hits fest in Los Angeles, in part because Bud Light is sponsoring a three-day music event at Arena (formerly Staples Center) that will feature Machine Gun Kelly, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and green day.

But it will be tough to top the headliners at the exclusive Homecoming Weekend party, with The H. Wood Group having secured Drake and Justin Bieber for their famous Super Bowl party.

But John Terzian, co-founder of The H. Wood Group, said singers and celebrities are only partially responsible for the pre-Super Bowl buzz.

“It’s also the excitement around the new stadium,” Terzian told USA TODAY Sports. “I think SoFi is going to blow people away.”

The stadium has 260 suites which, on match day, are expected to be occupied by dozens of A-list celebrities. Giles Harrison will be among the paparazzi looking to photograph Los Angeles celebrities.

“You definitely won’t have to chase anyone,” Harrison said.

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