Arizona is hosting Super Bowl XLII. It’s great press, great for our economy, great to be part of a history-making or, potentially, history-breaking game.
But, in the January 24, Arizona Republic front page story, “For our football visitors, things are getting SUPER EXPENSIVE,” we learned the horrendous costs some of our visitors would have to swallow: $2800 for a 4-night stay, $432 to rent a car for 4 days, $4000 for limousine service, $2700 to get from Boston to Phoenix.
We were warned, “… the NFL, the National Collegiate Athletic Association or organizers of other major sporting events will scrutinize a host city’s costs before deciding whether to bring future events here.” Says Bob Sullivan, president of the host committee, “They are not going to want to do business in communities that take advantage of the consumer to such an extent that it does not make the experience a pleasant one.”
Of course not. But, we don’t control the airlines, $100 a day for a rental isn’t over the top when the parking pass is $60 – $165 for limos, and $750 tickets, c’mon. Those, which we don’t control either, are where gouging can be defined. But, since Arizona does not have an anti-gouging law, I’m sure that topic will be front and center for our legislators this year; how it’s imperative we pass one to continue to bring these cherished events to Arizona. However…
Let’s face it – in no way can attending a Super Bowl be considered a frugal endeavor. It’s for the rich and famous, the die-hard fan willing to take out a second mortgage to see his team in the Big game. It’s not for the average guy, which is why we have big screen TV’s, or failing that, we go to venues with big screen TV’s. For the frugal, $100 in food and beverages to see the game is a Super Bowl sized expenditure. For us, the little guys without deep pockets, there’s the NFL Experience – a chance to get a taste, a scent, a tiny tingle of the big event.
Guess what? The ticket prices weren’t too bad – $17.50 and $12.50, although if you stocked up on Pepsi ($25 worth) Pepsi provided a free pass for two. We did, of course, to help our son with the cost of taking the grandkids.
And, what did he report? $10 to park (acceptable), an hour and a half wait to sign waivers so they could partake in the events (unorganized), $9 ice cream (the last time I bought ice cream I spent $10 and took home 4 tubs of Dryers – OUTRAGEOUS), $4 sodas (20 0z. bottles.) That’s .20 an oz. Funny, I only paid .017 an oz. when I stocked up to get the free tickets.
Oh, there’s more. $6.50 per hot dog; $10 for a 16 oz. bottle of beer; $3 for popcorn (standard little bags); $5 for cheese nachos – add the fixin’s and it went for $8, 1/2# burger – $10.75. No fries, sorry. That’s $5 more. Want a corndog? $3.50. Maybe chicken? 4 teeny strips only $8.25. Yes, folks, same food you’ll buy FOR MUCH LESS at a regular Cardinals game. I can’t print what he said about the cost of souvenirs.
Now, let’s see, if you didn’t have the vouchers, two adults, two kids… $60 for tickets, $10 to park, and, hey, it’s a long day experiencing all that NFL fun so we gotta eat. Hmm. Two burgers, one dog, one chicken fingers, 2 fries (we’re sharing, it’s frugal), 3 sodas, 1 beer, one popcorn. That’s $71.25.
But, we’re having a ball, and get caught up in the experience. Let’s have ice cream ($36). Oh, and we’re thirsty again. Add another $12. (We only had one beer. We’re with the kids.)
And, the grand total is: $189.25! Actually, if you got out of there for under $200 you probably earned the right to wear an “I’m Frugal” button on your sweatshirt.
Truly, is it Arizona who’s leading the gouging, or might some other entity, like the NFL, have taught us a trick or two?
PS: I know where you can get a room for $99 a night, available NOW!