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Consumers expected to spend $8.9 billion on Super Bowl festivities

January 28, 2010 |  1:04 pm

With the Super Bowl just days away, high-definition televisions are in big demand, according to a survey released today by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Assn.

Of the estimated 168 million people who will watch the championship game on Feb. 7, at least 3.6 million said they would take advantage of retailers’ promotions and buy a new television. That’s compared with the 2.6 million who said they would buy a new TV at this time last year.

Overall, however, consumers will keep spending to a minimum, with the average person expected to spend $52.63 on game-related merchandise, apparel and snacks, down from $57.27 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach $8.9 billion, the survey found.

“With slight improvements in the economy boosting consumers' confidence, many people are looking at flat-screen televisions as a way to splurge on something they’ve had their eye on for a while,” said Mike Gatti, executive director of the retail group. “Retailers have restocked their shelves and are already offering low prices on popular TV brands for those who have their heart set on watching the game in better quality this year.” 

The survey found nearly 32 million people (13.8%) will host a Super Bowl party and 59 million (25.6%) will attend a party. Grocery, apparel, electronic, sporting-goods and home-furnishing stores can expect to see increased traffic as sports fans head out to buy food and beverages (71.4%), team apparel or accessories (6.5%), decorations (6.1%) and furniture or a new entertainment center (1.9%).

Of the millions of people who plan on tuning in to watch the Indianapolis Colts play the New Orleans Saints, nearly half (47.8%) say the game itself is the most important part. Nearly one-fourth (24.3%) of viewers watch for the commercials, 20.1% enjoy getting together with friends, and 7.8% say the halftime performances are most important.

The survey, designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Super Bowl, polled 9,578 consumers and was conducted from Jan. 5 to 13.

-- Andrea Chang