Rumors and speculation had all been hinting at New Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi as headliners for the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show at MetLife Stadium, but alas, the gig went to Hawaii’s own Bruno Mars. The appearance will make Mars, who turns 28 on Oct. 8, one of the youngest ever to perform during halftime of the NFL’s grand finale, and the youngest since then-19-year-old Christina Aguilera graced the stage along with Phil Collins, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton in 2000.
Though the news had leaked online early, it was promptly confirmed the following day by the NFL on Sept. 8 in New York’s Times Square during FOX’s pregame show hosted by Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan. Once Mars was revealed as the choice performer, ensuing questions naturally focused on whether or not the performance will take place outside. No further details have been revealed just yet, but all signs point to the halftime show indeed taking place inside the outdoor MetLife Stadium, just like any other year.
Of course, sports fans already know Super Bowl XLVIII will likely be much different than previous installments. As the first Super Bowl to take place outdoors in a cold-weather climate, and in close proximity to New York, the most populous city in the U.S., the event has been buzzed about ever since the announcement was made back in May 2010.
Aside from speculating what game conditions may be like come Feb. 2, many had also wondered what would happen with the halftime show, which has become known for pulling out all the stops for the 100 million-plus viewers tuning in each year. After somewhat “playing it safe” with performers for many years following the infamous Janet Jackson halftime show in 2004, show organizers began branching back out in 2011 with artists like The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and most recently, Beyoncé.
The incredible rise of Mars over the past year and a half certainly makes him a worthy choice for a show that typically looks to showcase successful artists that are no stranger to the spotlight. As of Aug. 23, Mars’ completed Moonshine Jungle Tour ranked No. 9 in Pollstar’s list of the Top 20 Concert Tours for North America, according to the average box office gross per city. At just over a million dollars per location, Mars came in only behind Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, One Direction, Fleetwood Mac, Phish, Justin Bieber, and Dave Matthews Band. Mars can next be seen at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Sept. 21 before heading overseas for international tour dates.
Those looking to lock in seats early can shop for Super Bowl 2014 tickets on sale now for the historic event coming to MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.