Attending a Super Bowl is almost always a pricey proposition, and this year’s game, scheduled for Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be no exception. Still, there are plenty of ways to go to Super Bowl XLVIII, and not all of them are as costly as might be expected.
At this point, the chances of finding inexpensive tickets are slim. Most of them have already been squirreled away behind the walls of the secondary markets, so those looking for tickets are left gambling against market fluctuations. Using SeatGeek, a ticket search engine that allows users to scan for and track ticket prices, on Jan. 9, I found a perch on a frosty corner of the 300-level end zone for $2,700. Not bad. Two days later, those tickets were gone and the lowest price was closer to $3,000. Two days after that, the tracker found a similar deal for $2,686.
After what looked to be a slow start, room bookings are robust. According to the tracker TravelClick, reservations in the New York and Northern New Jersey area during the Super Bowl are up 54.5 percent, compared with the same time last year.
And high hotel rates can’t be avoided simply by staying out of Manhattan. Some of New Jersey’s budget hotels have reportedly bumped up rates as high as 10 times their normal charge. But not every owner is going that far. At huddlenj.com, 16 bed-and-breakfast inns are offering “fan-friendly rates,” with rooms as low as $100 a night for a minimum stay of two nights. Fans of these prices might also want to take an online look at Airbnb.
For those who would like a dose of luxury, the secondary markets like PrimeSport are flush with all-inclusive hotel packages. Guests can expect to stay three nights at four-star-level and above hotels and receive a basic 300-level Super Bowl ticket (which they can upgrade for a fee) and game-day transportation to and from MetLife Stadium. Packages from PrimeSport and other companies range from about $5,000 to $7,500.
In most cases, while booking these packages, it may be best to stick with official partners of the NFL, like quintevents.com. Not only are they less expensive (as of publication), but some include free access to events sponsored by the NFL.
Both areas are working to ensure that transportation won’t be an issue. New Jersey Transit is offering a $50 Super Pass, which can be used the entire week, starting Jan. 27, for unlimited travel on all its services, including to and from Newark Liberty International Airport and New York City.
In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has pledged to stop construction and increase service to high-traffic areas, hoping that visitors to the area for the Super Bowl will largely rely on public transit.
On game day, a fleet of Fan Express buses will transport ticket-holders to and from MetLife Stadium from nine sites throughout Manhattan and New Jersey. All tickets need to be purchased at least one day ahead of time at sbfanexpress.com.
While the game certainly is the centerpiece of the trip, football-themed events will take place all over the area. In New Jersey, fans can view the original Vince Lombardi Trophy, from the first Super Bowl, at the Newark Museum, or study football’s gritty history at the interactive exhibit “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.
New York is planning to build a 14-block “Super Bowl Boulevard,” running along Broadway from 34th to 47th Street. There, fans can snap a picture with the (current) Vince Lombardi Trophy, while collecting autographs from past and present players; listen to live music; and race down a seven-story toboggan run. Also in celebration of the game, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will display a selection of vintage football cards, some from as early as 1894, along with a series of rare photographs.
For a full calendar of events in New York, visit nynjsuperbowl.com, and for events in New Jersey, including a roundup of tailgate parties held away from the stadium, visit the Super Bowl 2014 Fan Guide at nj.com.