The big game may still be a few months away, but at least one enterprising travel company is selling a super-deluxe Super Bowl package and billing it as the perfect holiday gift “for the man who has everything.” Yes, for $49,000, Exclusive Resorts is offering a “once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip” to Super Bowl XLVII — teams still to be determined, of course — on Feb. 3. Actually, the package extends the fun over four nights and includes hotel (also still to be determined), a welcome mixer, an assortment of official souvenirs and entrance to pregame parties (with a “VIP within a VIP” area, promises Exclusive Resorts director of events Andy Irvine, who says “I don’t enjoy crowds nor do the people I travel with”). Oh, and yes, two tickets to the game, with the seats situated on the lower lever between the 10- and 25-yard lines.
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But the biggest big-ticket item that’s part of the package may be the one-year trial membership to Exclusive Resorts, which bills itself as a kind of country club without borders — the travel program has access to 350 “stunning” residences across the globe and six additional nights of lodging are offered with the trial membership. (The normal fee to join Exclusive runs $100,000 to $600,000 — the price varies depending on how many annual nights of lodging are included in the terms — and that figure doesn’t include maintenance fees.)
Of course, with Exclusive, members are not just buying a place to bunk. They’re also buying access to in-demand events (the NCAA Final Four and New York Fashion Week are also on the calendar) and a level of service that goes hand-in-hand with the luxury lifestyle. Exclusive’s Andy Irvine offers this example: “At last year’s Super Bowl, we had a die-hard fan who wanted to meet Tom Brady. We arranged that for him.”
Getting face time with your favorite NFL player at the Super Bowl is a nice perk, but what if you just want tickets to the game? They can easily be had, and not necessarily for prices that are in five-digit territory. For starters, football fans can always try to win the right to buy tickets at the face-value price — last year it was $600 to $1,200 — through an annual lottery the NFL holds (alas, the deadline for this year’s one has passed) or through lotteries offered by individual NFL teams.
Beyond that, the NFL sells officially sanctioned seats on the resale market through its NFL Ticket Exchange program, with prices for this year’s game starting at around $2,600 apiece for the upper terrace and running around $6,500 apiece for the sort of lower-level seats included in the Exclusive package. Naturally, there are plenty of unofficial sources — meaning ticket scalpers (ahem, brokers) — for game-day seats, too. As Exclusive’s Andy Irvine admits, “if you want a Super Bowl ticket, you can get one on the street.”
But even if you’re looking for a Super Bowl package with accommodations, parties and other perks, you can keep it to the low five digits per couple (or even high four digits). Sports-tour specialist Goviva has a base-level package for $4,495 per person and company President Robert Tuchman says he can put together a knock-your-socks-off package for up to $12,000 per person that includes lower-level seats close to the 50-yard line and access to such in-demand game-related parties as the ones hosted by Playboy and Maxim magazines.
Still, most Super Bowl packages don’t include an after-game opportunity to spend time trotting the globe and staying in fancy-schmancy places. (“Think spectacular, exotic, comfortable and luxurious. Think warm white sand underfoot or craggy mountainside views,” touts Exclusive Resorts on its website.) Then again, if that’s your real interest, Exclusive offers a trial one-year membership for $15,000 — sans Super Bowl and that private meet-and-greet with Tom Brady.