Super Bowl XLVI -- on a dime - Ingles

Does $1,244 sound like a Super Bowl bargain if it includes a game ticket, hotel reservations, and airfare? It should, because it is.

The Fletchers, a family from Gardner, Mass., feel blessed that they are paying just over $1,000 a person, considering it is a pittance compared with what they could be shelling out, with some game tickets alone costing upward of $2,750, well over face value.

They cut corners to arrive in Indianapolis without paying even more, flying into Pittsburgh for $150 a person, borrowing a friend’s car, and driving the six hours to Indianapolis to avoid the $1,100 going rate for plane tickets. And the family - father, mother, son, and son’s girlfriend - are staying in a hotel in Greenfield, a suburb 30 minutes west of the city. The tickets were by far their biggest coup, face value ($900) for field level, end zone seats on the Patriots sideline.

“We were at the right place at the right time,’’ Jim Fletcher quipped as he and his family, fresh off the road and ready to party, enjoyed a beer at a local Pats pub. Without going into too much detail, his 26-year-old son, Billy, explained it was the result of a friend-of-a-friend connection.

Even with most hotel rates jumping Thursday to $500 a night - and that’s a two-star option - and parking near Lucas Oil Stadium approaching $500 a spot on game day, it is possible to do the Super Bowl on a dime, lots of dimes. It just depends on the compromises fans are willing to make to experience, live and in person, America’s largest sporting event, or at least the parties, concerts, and revelry it spawns.

The budget-conscious fan has options here that include parking an RV on church grounds, a golf course, or someone’s yard. Some fans are staying with friends who live in central Indiana. And others who don’t have tickets but live not far away plan to drive in just for game day “to be in the atmosphere and get a contact high,’’ as Patriots fan Terri Bey of Lexington, Ky., put it.

Roberts Park United Methodist Church, about a mile and a half from the stadium, is renting weekend parking space to RVs for $200 to $240, depending on the size of the vehicle.

“We’ve got no hookups or amenities for the RVs. We just have the spot,’’ said Richard Smith, the church’s business administrator. Still, he said, two people have paid for a space and a third reserved a slot.

“We had a call from a fellow who said he’s in Massachusetts and his partner lives in Florida and they plan to fly to Chicago, rent an RV, and park it in our lot,’’ Smith said.

Bey, the 44-year-old Pats fan, needs parking for just one day. She intends to make the three-hour drive to Indianapolis after an early Sunday church service, even though she doesn’t have game tickets. The native New Yorker and horse racing aficionado fell in love with the New England football team when she heard Bill Belichick used the story of thoroughbred Tiznow’s 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic win to inspire his team.

She plans to wear her No. 12 Tom Brady jersey and watch the game at a local sports bar, but she suffered sticker shock after checking parking websites and seeing prices from $49 a mile away from the stadium to $499 just a few feet from where the Patriots and New York Giants will face off.

“They’re gouging people,’’ she said by phone yesterday. “Why? For a parking spot.’’

Linda and Bob Ritchie don’t have to worry about parking on game day. The Chelmsford, Mass., couple drove into town Thursday and plan on watching the game at friend Marcia Reed’s house, which, Reed said, is in the same neighborhood as Larry Bird’s home.

The Ritchies planned this trip to Indianapolis long before the Patriots earned the right to play in the championship game - three years ago, when it was first announced that the capital of Indiana would host the megawatt sporting event.

“We had to come to experience this,’’ Linda Ritchie, 65, said, adding that the couple figured they would just pass through on their snowbird pilgrimage to Florida.

Reed and Bob Ritchie have been friends since childhood, growing up on the same street in Lynnfield, Mass. The Super Bowl seemed like fun and a great way to visit an old friend. The fact that the Patriots are playing is a bonus, they said.

“We were taking our chances,’’ Bob, 66, quipped outside the JW Marriott, where the trio was trying to make its way in to watch celebrities and athletes give interviews along the famed Radio Row.

The super fans - Reed had the Patriots logo painted on her thumbnails and stickers on her cheeks - had already watched the live broadcast of the “Today’’ show in Super Bowl Village.

“We’re just here for the party,’’ said Linda, 65.

(source Boston Globe)

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 08:07. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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