Why Aren’t Patriots Fans Paying Up to Go to the Super Bowl?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Winslow Townson / Getty Images

It’s the game that everyone wanted. (Well, everyone not rooting for the Ravens or 49ers, that is.) The New England Patriots will play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, a “Super Rematch” of the epic Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning championship game from four years ago. Quite expectedly, tickets to the game are commanding a premium, by some accounts selling for an average of around $4,000 apiece.

Before we knew which teams would play in the Super Bowl, the Boston Globe‘s Dan Shaughnessy wrote about the possibility of the game that everyone was thinking of but few were bold enough to mention, for fearing of jinxing things. Shaughnessy called the idea of another Patriots-Giants Super Bowl the “Game That Must Not Be Named”:

It’s the matchup that’s in the back of your mind, even if you are too superstitious to admit it.

Now it’s the matchup that’s front and center on the minds of sports fans.

Four years ago, the Giants ruined the Patriots perfect season in one of the NFL‘s greatest upsets. After a regular season full of Ws, the Patriots lost to the Giants 17-14 in the 2008 Super Bowl. Presumably, the upcoming Super Bowl gives the Patriots and their fans a chance at revenge. It also gives them special reason to want to see the game in person.

(MORE: How the Super Bowl Has Morphed into an Entire Season — for Advertising)

Thus far, however, it seems that Giants fans are much more willing to drop big bucks to go to the Super Bowl, held this year in Indianapolis. The New York Post cites some key data:

According to Orbitz.com, the Giants have 67 percent more fans flying from area airports to Indianapolis on Super Bowl weekend than the Patriots do.

The average ticket price for this year’s Super Bowl is $3,984.73, according to Chris Matcovich at TiqIQ. The lowest is $2,175.

The secondary ticket marketplace StubHub tells the Huffington Post that only 7% of the Super Bowl tickets bought at its site have been purchased by Massachusetts residents, and less than 2.5% of tickets have been bought by people from other states where Patriots fans dominate (Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont). Giants fans seem more willing to pay up to see the game:

New Yorkers, meanwhile, grabbed 13 percent of the tickets. New Jersey residents, where the Giants actually play, bought 8 percent.

(MORE: Early Super Bowl Ad’s a Hit: Volkswagen’s ‘Canine Choir’ Barks ‘Star Wars’ Theme Song)

A Boston Globe story makes no mention that, thus far, it looks like Giants fans will outnumber Patriots fans in Indianapolis. Instead, the piece focuses on what it’ll really cost to go to the game, and ways to make it cheaper—or less astronomically expensive—to attend.

Roundtrip airfare from Boston to Indianapolis around Super Bowl weekend is easily topping $1,000. A basic hotel room within 15 minutes of downtown will run $500, if you can find one available. Nosebleed seats are more than $2,000, while prime seats in lower sections are selling for $7,000 or more.

To save money, the Globe advises, you could bring a sleeping bag and spend the night on the floor of a downtown Indianapolis firm that’s renting out its meeting space. Sleeping bag space will cost $170 per person per night. Here’s another suggestion that may be equally uncomfortable:

Those looking to save money might consider flying into Chicago, about $180 round trip from Boston, and making the two-hour drive to Lafayette, Ind., where hotels are going for about $135 a night. From there, it’s a 60-mile drive to Indianapolis.

On the other hand, you could take the approach of one Giants fan who rode in style with friends to see their team play Green Bay a couple weeks ago. Here are the details of the trip, highlighted recently by Sports Illustrated:

Amount paid by a Wall Street businessman for a 70-foot RV—stocked with prime beef, lobster and caviar and staffed with two waitresses, a driver and a chef—to transport him and five other fans 20 hours from New York to Sunday’s Giants-Packers game.

(MORE: Why the Colts Should Pass on Peyton Manning)

That wasn’t even for the NFC Championship Game, let alone the biggest game of them all. Just imagine what some Giants fans would pay to see their team take their chances to beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Again.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.