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Super Bowl XLVIII: The Most Expensive Game in NFL History?

Football
Super Bowl XLVIII: The Most Expensive Game in NFL History?

The biggest event to take place on Sunday, February 2, 2014 (depending on who you ask), will be Super Bowl XLVIII. Some might argue the Puppy Bowl or Hallmark Channel’s competing Kitten Bowl is more interesting, but the Super Bowl is a game that will lead to football immortality for many stars of the sport and attract hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide.

Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to be one of the most unique Super Bowls of all time. The game is to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While it may be unique for being the first Super Bowl to be hosted at a stadium with a Snoopy statue outside it, this will also mark the first time in decades that the championship game has been held outdoors in a place with a cold, wintery environment.

This could potentially be a huge gamble considering how unpredictable the weather in New York can be. However, it could end up creating a new aura for the game and might even lead to Super Bowls in other usually cold cities like Seattle, Philadelphia or Baltimore.

Of course, an obvious point about the Super Bowl is that it’s a very costly event to put together. After all, it will involve more than just 70,000 or more people showing up for the biggest game of the year. It will also attract at least 100 million Americans watching live on television with millions more viewers in different countries all around the world. People’s attention rests on much more than the game itself. Ratings are driven by everything from the halftime show to the commercials to seeing if Alicia Keys will take at least 90 seconds to sing the national anthem.

Super Bowl XLVIII is truly an expensive event in every sense of the word. Sure, it involves pricey tickets, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The costs associated with every aspect of the event in general truly show just how grand of a spectacle it is.

The Stadium

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One of the biggest reasons why the Super Bowl was brought to New York was because the stadium being used for the event was recently introduced. MetLife Stadium was constructed a few years ago and opened in 2010 to house the Giants and Jets. This stadium cost $1.6 billion to build and is made with a huge aluminum body on the outside with a bright lighting system that changes color depending on the event being held. The stadium will probably have a white glow for the Super Bowl, although that could change depending on the circumstances of the game and which two teams are facing off.

The four massive high-definition scoreboards contributed to a big part of the stadium’s price tag. The four locker rooms with one for the Giants, one for the Jets and two for visiting teams certainly added to the cost as well, as did the twenty LED pylons from Daktronics around the north and east entrances of the stadium.

Fortunately, MetLife is paying $400 million for the stadium’s naming rights. This is good for around $20 million per year according to the contract. That money could certainly buy a hefty amount of Peanuts memorabilia.

The Cost of Seats

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In 1967, it cost a mere $12 on average to attend Super Bowl I. The price has progressively gone up over the years and reached an average price of $100 or more per ticket since the late-1980s. In 1994, it cost $175 on average to attend Super Bowl XXVIII. The 2012 game in Indianapolis had an average ticket price of $1,200 per seat.

Today you can get tickets for the big game in New York for anywhere from $500 to $2,600. It’s estimated that 40% of all seats at the stadium will cost less than $1,000.

These are expensive, but the cheapest tickets you could get to last year’s game in New Orleans cost $625. But the extra $125 in this years’ attendees pockets won’t make them any warmer watching an outdoor game during the coldest time of year. In short, choose wisely football fans; you could either buy a ticket for the game or all twenty volumes of the Complete Peanuts set that’s been released for $600.

What About the Secondary Market?

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You could buy tickets from someone who’s already got them, but be prepared to pay even more. StubHub, a popular place for secondary ticket sales, has around 2,700 tickets left for sale as of January 7. The least expensive tickets are worth $2,500 each. Ouch.

Each site has its own standards for how much they charge for tickets on the secondary market. You must be careful to avoid being ripped off more than absolutely necessary.

What About Parking?

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If you intend to park at the stadium, then prepare to spend a small fortune doing so. It will cost $150 to get a highly sought after parking pass for the game. There goes the $125 you saved from last year.

Newark’s Star-Ledger states that you’d have to pay more to park at the Super Bowl than you would for a lower end zone seat at a regular season Giants game. That Giants ticket normally costs $120, plus $30 to park at the stadium for a game. But this is the Super Bowl, after all, so put on a big smile and wave to Snoopy on your way in.

What About Public Transit?

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You can use public transit to get to the game as well, but the cost of doing so may be quite high as well. While it would normally cost $2.50 for a ticket to the subway in New York, there’s the obvious issue of the subway not reaching New Jersey. That’s where the NJ Transit system can come in handy. It will cost $8 for a round trip on a train from Secaucus Junction to the Meadowlands station.

Meanwhile, the Fan Express coach bus service will cost $51. This bus will stop off in a few different places around New York and New Jersey en route to the stadium.

Suites for Sale: only $400,000

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Perhaps you want to watch the game at a nice climate-controlled suite at MetLife Stadium. If you do, perhaps you also use money as toilet paper. It used to cost close to $225,000 for a suite during the Super Bowl in past years but the price for this special game has gone up dramatically.

It costs a minimum of $400,000 to get a suite for Super Bowl XLVIII. However, some suites went for $450,000 during the later parts of 2013. If your heart is set on it, you’ll have to jump into a suite now because they are expected to climb close to $700,000 in value near the day of the game. There’s a total of 220 suites that can fit from 12 to 30 people at the stadium, so you could technically find something if you act soon and pony up the cash.

Hotels in NYC

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Are you from out of town and looking for a good hotel in NYC for the weekend? Good luck with that. Seriously, not only will you have a tough time finding a hotel at this point, but if you do, expect to pay thousand of dollars for anything decent.

Hotel costs always rise during the Super Bowl at its host city. In New Orleans, you would have had to pay $1,500 for a night at the downtown Marriott last year.

Meanwhile, hotels in the area for this year’s game are available for several times their original values. A Best Western in West Orange, New Jersey is asking for $1,000 a night during Super Bowl weekend. That’s a massive rise from the $100 rate the hotel normally charges.

Meanwhile, the Kimptons Hotels chain in New York is offering a deal for its four hotels in the area. People can get rooms for $476 to $789 per night depending on the size. This is around twice the rate that you’d normally pay. In addition, you have to stay for at least three nights.

City Preparations

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The preparation points for the Super Bowl are also big for New York. It’s not clear how much money it would cost for security for the event, but it’s estimated that it will be at least $10 million. Air space restrictions will have to be used as well.

It’s difficult to estimate how much it would cost the city for decorations and other cleaning plans for the event. However, it’s estimated that it costs $20 million on average each year for the host city to prepare itself for this special event.

Don’t Forget Ad Costs

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It’s clear that the advertisements that air during the Super Bowl are just as popular as the game itself. So, how much would MetLife pay to have an ad with Lucy Van Pelt trying to sweet talk Schroeder into talking about a 401(k) plan?

Super Bowl XLVIII ad costs will be at around $4 million for thirty seconds of ad time. This is an average cost with prices varying depending on when they air during the game. It’s clear that it costs more for a first quarter spot, but the $4 million average is a tremendously high total. Many big-name companies are buying ads like Anheuser-Busch, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Pepsi and Paramount Pictures. Even smaller companies like Roll International, SodaStream and Chobani are buying ad space.

For the record, MetLife is not listed as a company that’s buying ad space yet. Since 2003, ad space for the Super Bowl has cost a minimum of $2.5 million for a thirty second spot. It’s amazing seeing how the cost for such an ad during Super Bowl I was $37,500, equivalent to only a quarter of a million dollars today. This is a true testament to the growth of the game of football in America and around the world. You might not see any Peanuts during the game, but you will surely see lots of scantily-clad women, dogs, monkeys, talking babies, explosions, questionable celebrities, fart jokes and groin traumas, all to the tune of various classic rock hits. So pull out your warm clothes, empty your checking account, and we’ll see you at the game.

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