The Patriots may not be going to the Super Bowl this year, but that does not mean you can’t. If you have enough money, you can do something that Tom Brady and company can’t do – buy your way into the big game.
Of course, getting your tickets to the big game in New Orleans will not come cheap, and booking airfare, hotels, and a rental car will all cost more than they do for a typical trip to the “Big Easy.” Still, if you have deep enough pockets, it’s possible.
Here’s a look at what your tickets, airfare, and accommodations for Super Bowl XLVII would cost if you were to book them yourself. Of course, all prices are fluid and all numbers quoted here as of Jan. 27. They may very well change dramatically by game time.
Tickets: You can’t get into the game without a ticket, so before you make plane reservations or book a hotel room, you need to make sure you can secure your seat at the Superdome. There are a number of legal online ticket marketplaces, but the best-known one is StubHub.com, a site that allows you to safely buy unwanted seats for sporting events and concerts.
StubHub actually has a whole section for the Super Bowl, where you can find not only tickets to the game, but also tickets to peripheral events such as the NFL Experience and even media day.
On the positive side, StubHub has more than 4,000 tickets being offered. Currently, however, the lowest-price tickets being sold—seats in the corner of the end zone, very high up—are being offered for $1,800 a pair. A more common price for two tickets in similarly lousy seats is $1,900-$2,000. At the highest end, there are suites being offered for over $300,000 and pairs of tickets in premium locations for over $53,000.
Since we’re just looking to get into the game, it’s reasonable to expect that a pair of tickets could be purchased for $1,900, if not slightly less.
Airfare: To get to the game, you have to get to New Orleans. Of course, you could drive to the stadium if you really wanted to. Mapquest.com estimates that the 1,533-mile trip would take 24 hours, 33 minutes. It would also cost around $217 in gas, according to the site’s fuel cost estimator (assuming your car gets 18 miles-per-gallon city and 25 miles-per-gallon highway).
Let’s assume, however, that driving would not be anyone’s first choice and that anyone willing to spend $1,900 for two end zone seats to the Super Bowl would probably fly. To estimate flight costs, we used Kayak.com, a site that compares airfares from many, but not all, major airlines. Kayak is not perfect, as it does not check American Airlines, Southwest, or JetBlue flights, but it’s a good tool to get a reasonable sense of what a flight will cost.
Given that hotel rooms will also be expensive, we’re going to look at flying out Saturday and returning Monday, which would require two nights in a hotel. In general, flights to New Orleans are plentiful and relatively cheap.
On a regular week, United has a couple of different itineraries that leave Boston Friday and return Monday. For the same price, you can leave at either 8:30 a.m. or 3:10 p.m. on Friday. In both cases there is one stop in each direction, and the return flight leaves from New Orleans’s Louis Armstrong Airport Monday at 12:47 p.m., arriving in Boston a little before 7 p.m. This flight costs $276.60 (including taxes) for each ticket; it will get you to New Orleans the day before the game and get you out the day after the game.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the Super Bowl, the price for everything is jacked up, and airfare is no exception. The absolute cheapest flights out of Logan are a handful of Delta flights making one stop in each direction. You can leave at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. or 4:40 p.m., with the return option being leaving New Orleans at 5:25 p.m. and arriving at 11:25 in Boston. For this, you will pay $963 for each ticket — slightly more than your game tickets will cost.
Hotel: To book a hotel, we used Priceline.com, but did not use its blind bidding service. Unfortunately, there are literally no rooms currently available through Priceline for the nights of Feb. 2 through Feb. 4, which are the nights you would need. A search on Travelocity.com revealed the same result, forcing us to look further afield.
Travelocity did show available rooms in Hammond, La., about 60 miles or an hour’s drive away, according to Mapquest. And since you won’t be staying in New Orleans, there is no real reason to splurge on your hotel. Taking the cheapest option, you’ll be at the Super 8 for $169.15 a night. Add in $43.20 in taxes, and you’ll be spending $381.50 for two nights of less-than-luxury accommodations.
Rental car: Since you’ll be staying out of town, a rental car is an absolute necessity. To obtain one, we went back to Priceline, where the options were better than expected. Priceline actually had a number of cars in a variety of sizes, but the cheapest option was to book an economy car through Budget. This choice cost $180, covering your arrival on Saturday through the time you return the vehicle.
The bottom line:
Ticket cost: $1900 (pair)
Airfare cost: $1,926 (two seats)
Hotel: $381.50 (two nights)
Rental car: $180
This is the bare minimum. You will, of course, spend more money eating, drinking, paying for gas and generally enjoying yourself in one of the more fun cities on the planet. So, you can certainly still get to the Super Bowl, but it will cost you.