Super Bowl I was a modest affair when the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers met on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Forget a halftime show filled with star power; entertainment was provided by The Three Stooges and the University of Arizona and Grambling State University marching bands. You could get in for $10 — about $90 in today’s money.
On Feb. 12, when the Chiefs meet the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, fans will have spent thousands of dollars per ticket. Then there are the extras: airfare, lodging, meals and incidental costs.
It begs the question: Just how much does it cost to attend the Super Bowl? Be prepared to spend a lot of money, because it’s a sure bet you will.
Let’s say you make a full weekend of it: flying into Phoenix on Friday and flying out on Monday morning. You book a hotel room and a rental car for three days. You eat typical meals while in the Valley of the Sun. The final bill just might surprise you.
A 2022 study from CheapAir.com showed February is the cheapest month of the year to fly. That might be true if you’re traveling to any U.S. city other than Phoenix this week — and trying to buy your ticket now.
In the last week of January 2023, round-trip flights to Phoenix averaged $579, a 66% rise year over year, according to data supplied by Priceline.com.
If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, expect airfares to rise. Priceline figures show that in 2022 the cost to fly to Los Angeles — the site of Super Bowl LVI — increased by 18% in the week leading up to the game.
Hopefully you had game tickets in hand early and were able to book your flight when fares were lower.
Have you got an aunt in Scottsdale? A college buddy in Tempe? You might want to ask whether they have an available couch for you.
Priceline.com estimates that the average daily hotel rate in Phoenix for Super Bowl weekend is $574, so for three nights your bill would come to more than $1,700. How much of a Super Bowl markup is that? According to Priceline, that’s a 194% increase from the same time period in 2022.
Car Rental and Stadium Parking: $430
We’ve gotten accustomed, post-pandemic, to big prices for rental cars, and the cost in Phoenix is in line with what we’ve come to expect. Expedia, for example, displayed a three-day special on a full-size car, including taxes, for $330 if you prepay. Taxes on rental cars are high at the Phoenix airport, so an average of $110 per day isn’t as out of line as hotel prices.
Add in a minimum of $100 to park the car at the stadium on game day.
This is the one cost you can control. The Budget Your Trip website estimates that average food costs in Phoenix are $42 per day, but that assumes you’re eating a cheap breakfast and being very conservative with your spending on lunch and dinner. Perhaps $50 is a more realistic budget per day — if you follow some money-saving tips.
If you’d like to stick to that price, pick up some items at the supermarket and stock them in the hotel refrigerator. Take advantage of your hotel’s breakfast bar, if it has one. But the area also has some low-cost favorites, such as Taco Boys, which serves $2.99 tacos and small quesadillas for $3.99 at its locations in Phoenix and Tempe.
Central Avenue in Phoenix is a dining destination, with restaurants to suit every taste and budget.
And the Southwest has some fast-food restaurants that you’ve probably heard of but might not have tried because you don’t have one in your area. They include Carl’s Jr., El Pollo Loco and In-N-Out.
Don’t forget to leave room in the budget for a beer and a hot dog at the game. According to Cheapism, a hot dog at State Farm Stadium for the 2022 season cost $4.75, with a beer priced at $7.
But Bookies.com reported that the prices will vary vastly for the Super Bowl. The site said attendees should expect to pay $37.75 each to buy one hot dog, one Bud Light and a 20-ounce soda. To be safe, add $50 to your food budget for the game.
The game is so long that you might want a second hot dog. You aren’t allowed to bring in food or drink except for one sealed 16.9-ounce bottle of water, as written in the stadium’s policies.
Your three-day tab? $2,931 — before you add a game ticket.
About Those Tickets …
All of the above assumes you’ve magically scored tickets to the game, but the reality is that Super Bowl LVII prices are astronomical: The cheapest ticket available eight days before the game was nearly $6,000 on the SI Tickets website. The seat wasn’t great — the upper deck lined up with the corner of the end zone — but at least you would be in the stadium.
Tickets on the middle level at the 50-yard-line were listed at $18,099 each. At TicketIQ, a lower-level seat behind the Eagles’ bench was listed at $33,555.
Did you hit the lottery and want to take your friends to the game in style? Eight days before the game, one suite remained. It included 18 tickets, two VIP parking passes and a food and alcohol package. The cost? Just $1.54 million.
If this is all just a bit much for your budget, invite some friends over, grill some hot dogs and ask your guests to bring some other game-day fare for a potluck. That experience could prove priceless.
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