It’s not so much heading into the “homestretch” as driving toward the “Red Zone” as Houston Airports prepare for the arrival of up to one million visitors coming in for the game and celebrations surrounding Super Bowl LI.
With less than 100 days before the Feb. 5 NFL Championship Game at NRG Stadium, Houston Airports isn’t beginning its preparation as much as continuing planning that began with a visit to San Francisco in February 2016 to observe the work and preparation necessary for Super Bowl 50. A contingent from the airport traveled to that venue to observe how San Francisco International and Oakland International prepared for the arrival of fans and communicated with those fans before and during their stay.
More recently and closer to home, members of the External Affairs communications team attended a “100 Day Out Super Bowl LI Celebration” hosted by Greater Houston Partnership for local media and social media influencers to come together under one platform to help brand Houston.
First steps in welcoming the visitors to Houston for the game at the airports have been in place for months, with Super Bowl LI Countdown Clocks on display at both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby Airports. Working with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee on the project, the clocks counting down the days to kickoff are located on John F. Kennedy Boulevard at Bush Airport and in the central concourse ticketing lobby near the TSA checkpoint at Hobby Airport. They are two of the four countdown clocks located around Houston.
A comprehensive communications plan has been formulated that includes a dedicated Super Bowl page on the fly2houston.com website, messaging for travelers, volunteers working to enhance the experience at the airport for visitors, signage to aid in wayfinding and information on transportation, and public outreach messaging to help both arrival and departure for the game has been formulated, and the work on materials to support those efforts has begun.
Super Bowl LI is the third Super Bowl held in Houston and the second played in NRG Stadium. Miami beat Minnesota in Super Bowl VIII played at Rice Stadium in 1974, and New England beat Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.