The Kansas City Chiefs upset the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, capturing the AFC title and advancing to the Super Bowl. They will face the San Francisco 49ers next month, seeking to duplicate their 2020 success. The game is always a major affair for football enthusiasts, as it features famous TV advertising and lavish halftime displays. This year, another fandom has joined in full force: the Swifties.
Taylor Swift, a global superstar, is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, as previously reported. Her participation at his games this season has boosted NFL ticket sales, TV ratings, and Kelce shirt demand, converted scores of new football fans, and irritated some rivals along the way.
Swift has been a constant presence on TV screens and social media memes this season, whether she’s cheering Kelce on from his VIP box with a slew of family members and celebrity friends, leaving Arrowhead Stadium hand in hand with him, or simply having a snack.
She came on the field to celebrate the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday, and her embrace of Kelce and contact with coach Andy Reid drew attention of their own.
“Taylor Swift still managed to be one of the biggest storylines from that game despite not being on the field,” Nora Princiotti, a staff writer at The Ringer (and Swiftie), told NPR’s All Things Considered.
Naturally, Swift’s admirers were eager to question if she would be in the crowd at the Super Bowl. The answer is unexpectedly hard because Swift has her stadiums to fill.
Swift has resumed the international leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour only days before the big game. She is slated to finish the last of four performances at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday, Feb. 10 — the night before the Super Bowl in Las Vegas — at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Experts believe the answer is potentially yes. And all it will take is a private plane, not a time machine. Fortunately, Swift allegedly has two.
“This is a typical international flight, and the turnaround is not very tight,” says Kevin O’Leary, president and CEO of Jet Advisors, a Massachusetts-based aircraft acquisition, trading, and research company.
Swift’s event is expected to begin at 6 p.m. local time and last approximately three hours and fifteen minutes. O’Leary, who is not a Swiftie but holds a PhD in aircraft operations, anticipates a timely launch.
He believes Swift might fly out of any of Tokyo’s major airports: Haneda, which is about a 30-minute drive from the Tokyo Dome but requires special authorization, or Narita, which is approximately an hour away.
“There will be some logistics [and] clearances before the flight will be allowed to depart,” O’Leary said in a statement. “With either airport, the flight should be able to depart Japan within 2 hours of the end of [the] concert.”
That puts her likely departure time around 11:30 Saturday night local time, or 6:30 Saturday morning in Vegas.
O’Leary’s estimates also presume Swift will fly in her Dassault Falcon 7X (which has a little longer range than her Dassault Falcon 900, according to The Athletic). He believes the plane will be able to travel the 4,821 nautical miles to Harry Reid International Airport (KLAS) in 10 to 12 hours.
There are always potential obstacles, ranging from weather disruptions to the anticipated difficulty of acquiring a landing slot at the airport due to increased safety measures in expectation of heavy traffic that weekend.
However, due to the time shift, Swift is expected to arrive in Vegas between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 10.
That would give Swift plenty of time to recover before the game, though O’Leary suggests she may do so on the plane. “The aircraft would typically have berthing seats for 4-5 passengers, so the passengers would be able to lay flat, similar to an international business class seat,” he said.
O’Leary thinks that the journey will cost roughly $45,000. According to Paramount Business Jets’ estimate, it would emit more than 87,000 pounds of CO2. However, O’Leary claims that the Falcon 7X is one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient jets, burning 23% less fuel than the category average.
Swift is no stranger to private jet travel: in recent months, she has flown thousands of miles around the world for her Eras Tour gigs and Kelce’s games, and she has constantly been chastised for the emissions those flights produce.
“Taylor Swift’s Jets,” a since-deleted Instagram account that tracks her flights, said in December that her excursions produced 138 tons of CO2 emissions in only the previous three months. Swift’s spokeswoman stated that she purchased “more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel” before the commencement of the Eras tour in March 2023.
Fans flying commercials may discover a subtle reference to Swift (and Kelce) on select domestic flights to the Super Bowl.
American and United Airlines have added flights between Kansas City and Las Vegas in advance of the Super Bowl, with appropriate flight numbers: 1989 (Swift’s birth year and the title of one of her albums) and 87 (Kelce’s jersey number).
The subject of Swift’s trip timelines has sparked a frenzy, albeit for different reasons.
Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy spread a conspiracy theory that the Super Bowl was rigged to provide Swift, who sparked a surge in voter registration with a single Instagram post last year, an even better platform to promote President Biden.
Other comments were more jubilant. People flooded social media with time travel jokes and celebratory “Traylor” (or Tayvis, or Swelce) clips. Late-night hosts speculated enthusiastically about Swift’s plans.
Fans immediately made analogies to High School Musical, in which the romantic leads’ championship basketball game, academic decathlon, and theater audition all take place at the same time. (Vanessa Hudgens, who featured in the movie, called the hypothesis “hilarious.”)
Some Swift-related queries will most certainly lead to Super Bowl wagers, not just on whether she will make it to Allegiant Stadium, but also on what she will do there: appear on screen, be joined by other celebrities, get engaged, and so on.
“The NFL for years and years has been trying to court women and court more women fans, and to be frank, they haven’t always been very good at it,” she said. “And they have sort of stumbled into this hyper-influencer who’s doing a lot of that work for them well.”
A Swift Super Bowl appearance would almost certainly result in a significant increase in ratings, with Poynter reporting that it has the potential to become the most-viewed U.S.-based telecast of all time.
Pregame performances by Reba McEntire, Post Malone, and Andra Day will be followed by Tiesto as the first-ever “in-game DJ” and a halftime show fronted by Usher. Swift has turned down the engagement twice.