NFL commissioner Roger Goodell loves to see Taylor Swift becoming a football phenomenon.
The 64-year-old exec expressed his gratitude for Swift, 34, during a press conference ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl on Monday, February 5, noting that her romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been “wonderful” for the sport.
“I think it’s great to have her a part of it,” he said. “It creates a buzz, it creates another group of young fans — particularly young women — that are interested in seeing, ‘Why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?’”
Goodell thinks the “Taylor Swift Effect” has been a “positive” throughout the season, adding, “Both Travis and Taylor are wonderful young people and they seem very happy. She knows great entertainment, and that’s why she loves NFL football.”
Swift and Kelce, 34, were first linked in September 2023 when she was spotted at one of his games, and the pair have been going strong ever since. Although the mania surrounding their courtship has sent shockwaves through the sports world, some fans have argued the focus on Swift has been distracting.
In her December 2023 TIME cover story, Swift responded to the backlash, saying, “I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care.”
She continued, “I’m just there to support Travis. I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads and Chads.”
Swift has been spotted at 12 of Kelce’s games throughout the season, most recently cheering him on when the Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game last month, securing their place in the Super Bowl. While her celebrations with the Kelce family were plastered all over social media, a New York Times report claimed Swift was only shown four times during the broadcast for a total of 32 seconds.
Kelce has been equally supportive of Swift as their romance heats up. He gushed over Swift’s “unbelievable” fourth Album of the Year win after the Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 4.
“She’s rewriting the history books herself,” he said in a press conference. “I told her I’ll have to hold up my end of the bargain and come home with some hardware too.”
Kelce previously revealed that he wouldn’t be able to attend the awards show with Swift as he prepares to take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. Along with Album of the Year, Swift won Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2022 album, Midnights.
While discussing his relationship on Monday, Kelce told reporters that he liked seeing Swift’s loyal fans become interested in the NFL this season. “Taylor has an unbelievable fanbase that follows her and supports her throughout her life and it’s been fun to kind of gather the Swifties in the Chiefs Kingdom,” he said. “It’s been cool to just experience that.”
Swift has not yet confirmed whether she’ll attend Kelce’s game on Sunday, February 11, which Forbes predicts could be the most-viewed Super Bowl in history. She resumes the international leg of her Eras Tour on Wednesday, February 7, in Tokyo — and embassy officials are convinced she’ll be able to attend the game without any problems.
“The Embassy of Japan in the United States is aware of recent media reports concerning the steps Taylor Swift will need to take to travel from Tokyo after her concert on February 10th to Las Vegas in time to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play in Super Bowl LVIII,” read a statement shared via X earlier this month. “Despite the 12-hour flight and 17-hour time difference, the Embassy can confidently Speak Now to say that if she departs Tokyo in the evening after her concert, she should comfortably arrive in Las Vegas before the Super Bowl begins.”
The statement continued: “We know that many people in Japan are excited to experience Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, so we wanted to confirm that anyone concerned can be Fearless in knowing that this talented performer can wow Japanese audiences and still make it to Las Vegas to support the Chiefs when they take the field for the Super Bowl wearing Red.”
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