Football fans may have to break open their piggy banks, long-term savings accounts, or even tap their IRAs or 401Ks to afford a ticket to Super Bowl 50. Attending arguably America's most coveted sporting event easily exceeds more than $6,000 per person when taking into account ticket prices, airfare and hotel accommodations.
Ticket prices for the NFL’s championship between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Feb. 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, are currently running as low as $2,780 for a spot in the upper corner of one end zone, to as much as $23,000 for a similar seat or $21,000 for a lower prime club seat near the 50-yard line near the Panthers sideline, according to StubHub. There are roughly 3,000 tickets available on the site, and last week the range was from $3,850 to $350,000.
The range at NFL Ticket Exchange, which joins StubHub as the two biggest resellers for NFL games, similarly stretches from $2,750 for the upper end zone to $15,000 for a field level spot on the Broncos sideline. And just like StubHub, the prices have slipped over the last week from a range of $4,431 to $12,587 for a spot near midfield. Those who plan to drive to the event could spend as little as $64, to as high as $5,000 for a parking pass.
Yet, while the final matchup of the season is bordering on the most expensive of all-time, it hasn’t quite reached the record set by last year’s title game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
In 2015, the average ticket to Super Bowl XLIX went for an average of $4,600 on StubHub and $4,131 on the NFL’s ticket site. In the final days leading up to the matchup, finding a ticket for less than $4,500 and eventually less than $7,000 was all but impossible. By the time kickoff rolled around, the average ticket for Super XLIX had reached $6,007.74, according to ticket aggregator TiqIQ.
Super Bowl ticket prices do not always trend up year-after-year, rather they have fluctuated. Prior to last year's game, there have been several ups and downs, perhaps due to venue.
There’s also the matter of finding a reasonably priced hotel within the very expensive Santa Clara-Silicon Valley-San Jose area. According to a search of Hotels.com, booking a hotel for two nights runs from $206 to $1,999 for two people. The site lists 343 hotels in the Santa Clara area.
There is still time for ticket prices to spike, as affluent and procrastinating northern California residents may seize on seeing the first Super Bowl in the Bay Area in 31 years. Super Bowl XIX, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins, was played at Stanford Stadium, which at the time was 64 years old. In contrast, Levi's Stadium opened in 2014, but won't host another Super Bowl until 2020 at the earliest.