PHOENIX – So, you were one of the lucky ones. You got chosen to buy a Super Bowl ticket.
Congratulations, that'll be $700.
And that's just the beginning. You might also want to start shoring up that bank account, maybe put the rest of your 2008 vacation plans on hold. This journey to the center of the sports universe will take its toll in cold, hard cash (and credit cards, too).
The total cost: $5,033. That's more than $1,675 for each of the three Super Bowls the Patriots have won so far. Or $280 for every game they've won this year. Or a touch over $100 for each of the 50 touchdowns Tom Brady threw for. It comes to $83.88 a minute, or about $41.94 for each play in Sunday's game. Or the cost of 125 white rose bouquets delivered to Gisele Bundchen.
About 24,000 of the 73,000 tickets at University of Phoenix Stadium were awarded to average fans through the lotteries the Giants and Patriots held among their pool of season-ticket holders.
They all had a chance to sell those tickets to brokers for around $4,000 a pop — kind of like winning the real lottery — but those who want to live the dream, see the Super Bowl in person, might be keeping an eye on their credit scores as they watch the scoreboard.
— Airfare, $775. That was the price Jan. 22 for a round-trip ticket from Kennedy airport in New York to Phoenix (with a stop in Atlanta on the return). On Monday, that same ticket was going for $1,123.
Airfares from Boston were similar. The Patriots are in their fourth Super Bowl in the last seven years and there are some stories circulating about fans who made their plans weeks, if not months ago, betting the Patriots would make it to Phoenix. They bet right and may have saved about $500. On airfare, at least.
— Hotel, $1,100. It could be worse. Because of a deal the NFL cuts with Super Bowl host cities, there are caps on the prices hotels can charge and still be "affiliated" with the Super Bowl experience. Most hotels require at least a four-night stay. A La Quinta near the airport averages $259 a night starting Thursday, up for the normal $109. Add tax to get to the final figure.
— Rental car and parking, $510. No use in bothering with cabs in one of America's most sprawling cities. An intermediate-sized rental car at Enterprise was running $90 a day. If you were lucky enough to get a parking pass for the game at $60, you're set. If not, drive to downtown Glendale and park, then take a short, $5 shuttle ride to the stadium.
— Food, $700. Phoenix is a great place for Mexican food, which is usually relatively cheap. So dinner at the Tee Pee on 42nd Street and Indian School might run about $40 for eats and a couple of margaritas. Meanwhile, if you can get in at the Pink Pony Steakhouse — a kitschy old spring training haunt for Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and that set — the dinner bill will probably be double.
You'll probably do lunch on the run, or at the golf course ($15 a day), and spend about $5 a day at Starbucks trying to fight those hangovers. Throw in $50 for hot dogs, beers and other overpriced fare at the game and a few bucks for antacid on the way home.
— Golf, $225. It would be expensive this time of year, Super Bowl or no. At the Phoenician Resort, on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday, there were a few tee times available, though if you get one, you'll have to hustle from the 18th green to the game. Remember to tip the bag boys and the cart girl. But if you wait until the last minute to make golf plans, you'll be driving a long way to a course on the outskirts of town — or watching golf instead of playing.
— FBR Open golf tournament, $100. Actually, general admission tickets for the PGA Tour's regular stop in Phoenix — a golf tournament that happens to be held in the middle of the party and boozefest at the TPC Scottsdale — are surprisingly cheap. It's only $25 to be one of the 150,000 at the course on any given day. But at this event, it's not so much about the golf. The beer stand is never too far away. Also budget for souvenirs, beers and — who are we kidding here? — the cab ride back to the hotel.
— Other entertainment, $617. Let's say you blow $100 at one of the area's casinos, splurge and spend $400 for a ticket to Snoop Dogg's Friday-night Super Bowl party at Axis, $17.50 for a ticket into the NFL Experience street party and find something else to do after the game for another $100.
— Souvenirs, $206. Never cheap unless you wait until the day after the game. But no use taking the risk of not finding what you want and coming home empty-handed. So ... Cute, ladies T-shirt with the SB XLII logo: $21. Two small footballs with logos: $40. Game program: $20. And that nice golf pullover for yourself (our little secret): $85.
— Miscellaneous, $100.