The Super Bowl is arguably the single largest sporting event of the year. Millions of viewers gather around their televisions to watch the two best teams in football go head to head.
One reason that the Super Bowl pulls such a large audience is the halftime show. This year Canadian singer The Weeknd is performing, and he has made it known that he intends to put on a thrilling performance. His manager, Sal Slaiby, told Billboard that “The Weeknd fronted $7 million of his own money to ‘make this halftime show be what he envisioned.'”
There Have Been Mixed Reports About the Length of This Year’s Halftime Show
The Weeknd originally reported to Billboard that his performance would be the longest in Super Bowl halftime history, at 24 minutes. However, Vulture has reported this to be an error, making note that a correction to this has been made. Halftime will be generally the same length as shows of the past.
Typical NFL halftimes last between 12 and 15 minutes. The Super Bowl, however, takes additional time to account for the musical performance. According to Sporting News “Halftime at the Super Bowl can range anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the exact minute-by-minute breakdown the NFL decides upon each year.”
Sporting News also noted that “Additional time is needed thanks to the Super Bowl halftime show, which includes a musical act that lasts 12-to-14 minutes along with setup time.” The Weeknd’s performance will likely fall within this 12-14 minute timeframe.
There Is Never an Exact Time for the Start of the Halftime Show
NFL football games are conducted by playing four 15-minute length quarters. Due to timeouts and commercial breaks the length of an NFL half is difficult to predict, but Sporting News says that “A football half can be expected to take about 90 minutes unless something totally unforseen takes place.”
The Super Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. If the first half lasts around 90 minutes as expected the Weeknd’s performance should begin sometime between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET.
A Pirate Ship Is Said to Be Included in the Halftime Show
Cnet noted that in his Super Bowl press conference The Weeknd revealed very little about his performance. He said “Due to COVID and for the safety of the players and the workers, we built the stage within the stadium … I’m not going to tell you anything else because you’ll have to watch on Sunday.”
They also say that “when a local Tampa reporter asked if The Weeknd would incorporate the stadium’s built-in pirate ship, he said he would, somewhat, but wouldn’t reveal details.” According to Cnet the ship is 103 feet long and has cannons that fire when the Buccaneers score a touchdown.
The Weeknd Has Pitched In for the Production Costs
As noted above, the Weeknd’s manager confirmed that he has put forward $7 million of his own money for the performance. Forbes shared a bit more information about the typical cost of a Super Bowl halftime show.
While representatives from the NFL and Pepsi did not reply to a request for comment, last year’s show cost $13 million, according to Reuters. The Weeknd’s manager confirmed that Pepsi and the NFL had once again chipped, but none of the parties will confirm how much has been spent. The Weeknd’s performance could cost as much as $20 million.