How long is the Super Bowl?

Why is the game so much longer?

Super Bowl LVIII - Previews
Super Bowl LVIII - Previews / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Super Bowl LVIII takes place this Sunday and it'll be the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs are looking to win their third Super Bowl in five years and the 49ers are looking for their first in 29 years.

For those who might be new to football this year (hello, Swifties!), they might be wondering how much time they should set aside for the big game.

How long is an average NFL game?

Typical NFL games take roughly three hours, sometimes shorter if teams run the ball and wind the clock, and sometimes longer if there are a lot of penalties, a long review, a big injury, or the game goes to overtime.

Why is the Super Bowl longer?

The Super Bowl is the final NFL game of the season and determines the champion so that right there calls for a longer run time. There's also a halftime show (this year's is Usher), which takes approximately 15 minutes. The putting together of the set and then tearing it down also creates for a longer halftime.

Super Bowl commercials aren't as big nowadays but we still get to see plenty since sponsors pay big bucks for those so that adds to the run time as well.

How long can I expect the Super Bowl to last?

Assuming the game lasts the traditional four quarters and doesn't go to overtime, you can expect to be watching anywhere from three and a half hours to four hours. Last year's Super Bowl between the Chiefs and the Eagles lasted three hours and 31 minutes, per Pro Football Reference. The year before's match-up between the Rams and Bengals lasted three hours and 26 minutes.

Two of the longer ones in recent years both included the Patriots. Super Bowl LI, the only Super Bowl to go to overtime, took three hours and 47 minutes and the next year's between the Patriots and Eagles lasted three hours and 46 minutes.

This gives an idea of how long those not familiar with the Super Bowl can expect to be watching the game.