Leigh Steinberg has plenty of reason to celebrate during his upcoming Super Bowl Party in Dallas. It's Super Bowl XLV, but for the Newport Beach resident whose fame came as a sports agent, it's Steinberg Party XXV.
Because his party is in its 25th year, Steinberg is doing his best to make it memorable. His parties have been known for their extravagance and attention to charities. He wants to turn it up a notch.
Amid all the fun, which he often refers to as, "a three-ring circus," Steinberg will honor his friend, Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. Rep. who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head suffered during a shooting at a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. Jan. 8.
Giffords has been seen at past Steinberg parties. She would have been there this year, as she helped Steinberg provide a live video hook-up with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Current and former pro athletes in attendance at the party will be set up to talk to the troops. Steinberg's connection to Giffords was recently featured by USA Today.
Giffords also helped Steinberg acquire communication with wounded warriors, as a set of phones will be in place at the party for people to talk to the soldiers in hospitals.
Steinberg said he'll provide a special tribute film in Giffords' honor. It will happen at some point during the party on Saturday. There will be a lot going on. The day is so special, there will be two parties.
The guest list alone gives an indication that this should be a great party.
You know it's a party when Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino shows up. Steinberg chuckled last week when he confirmed that the "Jersey Shore" star was coming.
And, if that wasn't enough, there will also be at least one surprise for Steinberg.
"There have always been some interesting experiences at my parties," said Steinberg, who's unsure if he'll go to the big game the next day. "It depends on how tired I am if I go to the game. It's OK; I've been to about 30 of them."
Steinberg knows football and he knows a good party. He's thrown parties with Playboy.com and Russell Simmons.
At his Super Bowl parties, he likes to provide themes that are in line with the city that hosts the big game. He plans to have armadillo races during the party.
He also enjoys that his parties donate to charities and educate the public about issues such as green awareness.
Some of the party will be donating to the North Dallas Food Bank. Steinberg also plans to raise money for water purifying machines to be sent to Haiti.
"There will be people there from every form of entertainment," Steinberg said. "And we'll have politicians from every side. We'll have a number of different sponsors. The funds we raise will go to charity. The party is being broadcast on local TV there and a number of radio stations will be there."
Steinberg will be making the rounds on Friday in Dallas on Radio Row, doing his best to publicize the party. By the time the Steelers and Packers take the field on Sunday, Steinberg joked that he'll need a vocal-chord transplant.
He must get the word out about his party. He's competing against other big-time names trying to throw the best bash.
The Black-Eyed Peas will headline Sports Illustrated's party, according to a Reuters report. Prince and hip-hop artist Diddy are also throwing parties.
The least expensive ticket to the Super Bowl was $2,194 last week on Stub Hub. These parties can go for a lot more.
Prince is charging $25,000 for a "head table" of 10, Reuters reported.
Steinberg has heard that a ticket for his gala goes for $3,500. But he says he doesn't charge that much for those who know him.
After all, he says he's throwing a party for 2,500 of his closest friends. That will take place at Eddie Deen Ranch in Dallas. More people will surely come.
As the party goes into the night, the second party will begin. A featured part of the celebration will be the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Steinberg is being inducted for his contributions to the world of sports and for his humanitarian efforts.
More than likely, Steinberg won't be going to the Super Bowl. He'll definitely watch.
"This is as classic a conflict you can find between two teams," he said of the Pittsburgh-Green Bay matchup. "Football is larger than life in those cities."
In addition to party planning, Steinberg stays busy. He's planning to re-launch his sports agent firm next month.
He has also been a go-to guy on several issues relating to football. He was recently featured in a Los Angeles Times story about the possible return of football to L.A. Steinberg was in charge of the "Save the Rams" project when the team left L.A.
He's also often asked for expertise about concussions, as he's headed efforts on awareness for years.
Now many are asking for his take on the NFL labor situation that's expected to result in a lockout. NFL owners including Jerry Jones (Cowboys) and Bob Kraft (Patriots) are expected to attend his party, and the ongoing battle should be a hot topic.
"It would be suicidal to have a strike or labor stoppage," Steinberg said. "Brighter minds need to prevail. Who wants to be the person who destroys this golden goose?
"Both sides need to cool down the rhetoric and take a look at the catastrophic effect that a lockout could have. A labor fight that would pit billionaires [owners] against millionaires [players] would be one that would not be followed by the fans."
But all that NFL labor stuff can wait. This weekend, it's time to party.