Super Bowl spending increases

Tribune Chronicle graphic / Paris Chrisopoulos

After a dip in last year’s Super Bowl spending, purchases will increase by 8.5 percent this year as consumers are expected to spend $15.3 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

In preparation for the game, 82 percent of surveyed spenders said they will buy food and drinks, 10 percent will buy team apparel or accessories and 8 percent will purchase new TVs.

While the percentage of those buying TVs may seem small, the federation estimates about 8.6 million TVs will be purchased in anticipation for Sunday.

“It’s a really hot item right now and there are a lot of great deals,” said Best Buy spokesperson Bianca Jones. “With super Sunday coming up, we know our customers are looking for a great television to watch the big game on.”

And it’s not just Best Buy.

During the two weeks before the Super Bowl, retailers have the second-best TV discounts of all year, according to research by Consumer Reports. While Black Friday has the best discounts, at the beginning of the year stores are trying to get rid of old TV sets to make room for newer models, Consumer Reports said. In fact, Consumer Reports found Super Bowl TV prices are marked down by an average of 22 percent.

“Now is a great time because people hold Super Bowl parties and certainly see the value in the great deals during this time of the year,” Jones said. Depending on what kind of TV it is, she said, the store has TVs marked down $200 to $500.

While Jones couldn’t comment on whether there is an increase in actual TV purchases or foot traffic at the store in the weeks before the game, Matt Lockney of Larry’s Super Pawn said this time of year is the store’s busiest for TV purchases.

“We’ve been selling them pretty quickly,” Lockney said. “We’re selling them as fast as we’re putting them out.” However, Lockney said he isn’t sure if the increased purchases are related to the upcoming game or the start of income tax season.

Picking out a new TV might be tricky, but Jones has some tips that might help.

“If you’re having a party, we recommend getting a 60 inch, but since you’ll also be watching the TV after the game, you want something that fits the room too,” Jones said. She said to multiply the TV’s size by 1.5 for the minimum amount of inches it should be viewed from and to see the maximum amount, multiply that number by two.

For shoppers who want to feel as though they are right there with the actors and athletes, Jones said to consider High Dynamic Range, which produces more colors and contrast. For picture quality, Jones said to look into 4K, which is four times the pixels, making the picture sharper; and for customers who want ease, Jones suggests a Smart TV, which has streaming applications already installed.

Whether it’s on a brand new TV, a mobile device or something that’s been in the living room for years, the federation expects 189 million people to watch the game today.