SUGAR BOWL -- Snow-sport enthusiasts found Super Bowl Sunday to be a big treat in the mountains, with slopes clear of long lift lines and crowded runs.
Ski resorts historically see a major slowdown in traffic during the Super Bowl as many would-be skiers stay home to watch the game and enjoy parties.
That leaves devoted skiers and snowboarders with the mountain almost all to themselves.
The wide-open runs Sunday at Sugar Bowl was proof that many football fans had different priorities than playing in the snow.
Andrew Weston of Sacramento and his girlfriend Christina Johnstone opted to take advantage of the empty slopes.
They've made snowboarding on Super Bowl Sunday a tradition for the past three years.
"The Super Bowl is no big deal to me," said Weston, 49. "I'd rather be there without the long lines. I'll catch the score on the radio on the way home."
San Francisco resident Mark Kerstens, 42, offered to drive his son's Boy Scout troup to the mountains because watching football, even with his home team in the Super Bowl, is of no interest.
Skiing, he says, is a bigger passion.
"I don't even understand all the rules to be honest," Kerstens said. "It's not something I want to watch because I don't know what I'm watching."
Some skiers said they weren't watching the game because they wouldn't root for the Ravens or the 49ers.
"I'm a Detroit Lions fan and my team was out in week six," said Steve Pon of Sacramento. "It's really a non-event for me. If the Lions were in it, I wouldn't be skiing."
Liftopia, an online lift ticket discounter, reports 15 percent of ski resorts across the country offered discounts on tickets on Super Bowl Sunday to encourage people to come out.
Follow Sentinel reporter Shanna McCord on Twitter at Twitter.com/scnewsmom