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1 Feb, 2022 14:49

Super Bowl prices stun US sports fans

Critics have warned that supporters are being priced out
Super Bowl prices stun US sports fans

Fans who want to attend NFL championship game Super Bowl LVI will need hefty expendable income or luck, according to accounts of the ticket costs for the showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals which have led to controversy over sky-high looking prices.

Some well-known ticket exchanges are charging an average of more than $10,000 to attend one of the most anticipated Super Bowl matches in history, featuring the Rams at their home stadium, which can hold more than 70,000 people on the day, against a team that has never won the title.

That has resulted in accusations that supporters are being priced out of what many consider the flagship event on the sporting calendar in the US, with analysis showing that the most expensive tickets are going for an average price of more than $104,000.

Even wealthy fans might baulk at paying the relative mere snip of around $6,000 reportedly being charged for the cheapest tickets, so it may not be a surprise if the TV audience for the game beats the total of more than 96 million in the US who watched the 2021 edition, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It is what it is," said one, dismissing arguments by some that the prices are extortionate because the Super Bowl is a less popular draw than other momentous events such as the football World Cup final. "It’s the Super Bowl. The biggest game in the world."

Another shared a screenshot that appeared to show tickets available for sums that were almost exclusively into five figures, adding: "So sad the Super Bowl experience is no longer an option for fans as much anymore."

Although ticket revenues look set to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, the extravaganza is not without considerable costs.

Some observers shared a trailer for the halftime show which is always a talking point during the Super Bowl, which features a typically A-List cast of performers who are likely to command colossal appearance fees, including rappers Dr Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Mary J Blige.

Despite the Super Bowl costing more than ever to attend, others offered tip-offs that cheaper options could be available closer to the day on February 13 2022.

"That’s how I landed tickets to both Super Bowls I attended," said one opportunistic enthusiast.

"The 2002 Super Bowl – [seven-time champion] Tom Brady’s first – was the first Super Bowl after 9/11 and many people still weren’t traveling.

"At the 2017 Super Bowl, a well-known ticket broker was dumping his remaining tickets at a Super Bowl party."

While Rams fans who live locally could be willing to pay more because they will have few travel or accommodation costs, the Bengals' long wait for a championship win could also tempt their followers to pay up.

"Proximity to the game for the teams' fans is always a major factor in pricing," said Adam Budelli, of exchange and resale site StubHub, speaking to CNN.

"This is LA – the entertainment capital of world, where prices for everything are through the roof. This is a perfect storm."