The 2015 Super Bowl will be played in Glendale, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. This year’s game has an extra dimension, thanks to the DeflateGate controversy swirling around the New England Patriots. Whatever you may think of the controversy, it has raised interest in the game to a fever pitch.
If you are just starting to think about going to the game, get out your wallet and be prepared to pay, and pay, and pay some more. In addition to the Super Bowl, the Phoenix Open PGA tournament will be going on the same weekend. Tiger Woods (remember him?) will be one of the players this year and his presence is expected to draw upwards of 200,000 golf fans to the final round on February 1, the same day as the Super Bowl.
Having two high profile sporting events in the same city on the same weekend has put tremendous pressure on area hotels and motels. According to Forbes, hotel brokers are asking $1,600 – $2000 per night for a room at the prestigious Phoenician Hotel, a 5 star luxury resort. The very fact that you have to go through a broker to get a room gives you a pretty good idea how tight the market is.
Forbes found other hotels in the area were charging similar prices, and of course every establishment has a 3 – 4 night minimum stay for Super Bowl weekend. Here are some sample prices:
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: $6,900 for 3 nights
Arizona Biltmore Hotel: $6,900 for 3 nights
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa: $5,500 for 3 nights
Arizona Grand Resort: $6,700 for 3 nights
Last year, the big game was in New York, which has hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms available on any given day. Rates averaged $450 per night but this year some prestige accommodations in the Phoenix area are asking more than $3500 a night for the privilege of staying with them. Add in the 3 night minimum and you are looking at spending more than $10,000 just to have a room to go back to after the game. Yikes!
Room rates make ticket prices for the game seem almost reasonable. Right now, the cheapest seats are going for $2,000, but often ticket prices drop as game day approaches. Super Bowl tickets are like Christmas trees — nobody wants them the day after. Brokers have to pay in advance for their tickets and stand to lose a lot of money if they don’t find buyers for them, so many drop their asking price the closer it gets to kickoff time.
So what’s an average football fan to do?
Actually, there are options. Right now, one week before the big game, Airbnb has rooms available in the area for as little as $300 a night in private homes. Yes, you may have to drive a little to get to the stadium and no, there is no room service or fitness center. But if you are determined to see the Patriots roll over the Seahawks (or the other way around), it’s better than crashing at the bus station.
Need a car? The good news is, Expedia still shows several rental agencies have cars available. The bad news is they will cost you $100 – $150 a day, which is about 4 times the normal rate for Phoenix when the Super Bowl and the Open are not in town on the same weekend.
No matter how you look at it, being at the Super Bowl this year is going to be an expensive proposition.
Photo credit: Phoenician Hotel