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Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 captivated football fans in Baltimore and San Francisco as they rooted for their respective teams during the big game in New Orleans. Interest in that event, however, extended way beyond Maryland and California as a multitude of people from other countries came to America to attend the game in person.
This is among the findings of a study completed by Ticketbis.com, an international platform for buying and selling event tickets. The results of that study are illustrated in Fans on the Move, an interactive visual representation of cross-border ticket sales around the world.
The study by Ticketbis.com analyzed over 16,000 sports, music and theatre events across the globe from 2012 to 2014 to create Fans on the Move, a striking infographic that depicts the movements of music, sports and theatre fans who travel abroad to attend events.
The U.S. is one of the top destinations for tourists who wish to attend sporting events outside their own country, and the Super Bowl is at the top of that list. According to Fans on the Move, the Ravens' 34-31 victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans on February 3, 2013 attracted 1,350 ticketholders from other countries. It was the U.S. sporting event with the largest number of international attendees over the last 3 years.
Those 1,350 fans were more than twice the number of people (602) who came to this country to attend Super Bowl XLVI Indianapolis between the Giants and Patriots in February 2012.
In fact, there were only three events held worldwide between 2012 and 2014 that attracted more international fans than Super Bowl XLVII according to Fans on the Move: the Roger Waters Wall Tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina (March 2012), the London Summer Olympics (August 2012) and Taylor Swift's Red Tour in San Diego (October 2012).
Developed for Ticketbis by ElkanoData, a creative information design agency based in Barcelona, Spain, Fans on the Move provides a fascinating look at how event tourism is evolving each year and is impacted by the ticketing sector. The impact is indeed significant; international ticket sales information gathered from the Ticketbis platform shows an 82% increase from 2012 to 2014.
Fans on the Move features an interactive map with curved lines showing the paths that fans take from their home countries to attend events in other countries. These fan trajectories are for events in three broad categories: sports, music, and theater. Sports is divided into 10 sub-categories (football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, racing hockey, boxing, rugby and multi-sport) while music is divided into two sub-categories (concerts and festivals). The various sub-categories are color coded.
A navigation bar at the bottom of the visualization lets you choose a particular month from 2012 to 2014 and see which event in that month had the highest number of foreign attendees. For example, a total of 1,165 fans trekked to South Africa in January 2014 to attend Bruce Springsteen's "High Hopes Tour" while 806 tennis fans journeyed to France in June 2013 for the Roland Garros Men's Final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
The U.S. is one of the top destinations for tourists who wish to attend events. According to Fans on the Move, tourists visiting this country have a distinct preference for the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, and Broadway musicals.
Conversely, Americans who travel to Europe lean toward attending soccer events such as the Premier League and Champions League games, especially those in which top-tier clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United compete.
As international ticket companies make it easier for fans to safely and easily purchase tickets to events outside of their home country, the number of people who do so should continue to rise. So the next time the 49ers reach the Super Bowl you can expect even more people from other countries in the stands rooting for or against them.