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Wings play vital role in fans' game plans
Chicken wings sales soar on Super Bowl Sunday.

 Corey Carter preps an order of wings as another comes out of the oven at the Domino's Pizza on Warrenton Road. Some 1.23 billion portions are expected to be eaten in the U.S. on the year's biggest weekend for wing sales.
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Date published: 2/3/2013

BY CATHY JETT

The owner of a Stafford County sports bar started negotiating with suppliers four weeks in advance of today's face-off between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Super Bowl is what John Smith likes to call "the Christmas Day" of wing sales, and he wanted to lock in the best price for the fresh bone-in and boneless chicken wings that his staff at Wings & More Sports Bar on U.S. 17 will fry, sauce and serve.

"As it gets closer to the Super Bowl, the prices go up and up and up," he said. "It's almost like buying your house. You want to buy before the price goes up."

Smith clearly knows what the National Chicken Council has dubbed "wing-onomics." He paid $80 per case for nearly 40 cases of fresh chicken wings and tenderloins, which he sells as boneless chicken wings. That's at least $15 less than they're going for now and about $10 less than he paid last year when he waited longer to place his order.

"Chicken prices normally run $65 to $68, then jump $30 to $35 around the Super Bowl," he said. "Right after the Super Bowl, they'll fizzle down to the $65 mark."

Customers started placing takeout orders several weeks in advance, and Smith expects that Wings & More will sell about 4,000 of them today. They'll be among the more than 1.23 billion wing portions that are expected to be consumed on the biggest weekend of the year for wing sales, according to the National Chicken Council's 2013 Wings Report.

To put that into perspective, the report said that if 1.23 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore 27 times.

Super Bowl Sunday is also the second-biggest eating holiday of the year, ranking right behind Thanksgiving. The National Restaurant Association estimates that about 48 million of us will order takeout or delivery today.

Shawn Biggar who owns five of the six area Domino's franchisees, said that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for both wing and pizza orders. Last year wing sales went up 400 percent compared to a normal Sunday.


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