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What will separate the true high rollers from the merely well-heeled at Super Bowl XLVIII?
Warmth and comfort, and maybe a roaring fire in the club lounge. That’s why the suites at MetLife Stadium are going for more than double than what they’ve cost at prior Super Bowls.
Goviva president Robert Tuchman, who arranges corporate travel packages around the game, said the asking price for suites has jumped from $225,000 in past years to a starting price of $400,000 this year. His company has facilitated the sale of several in the $450,000 range, and he speculates that some suites could go for as much as $750,000 as the Feb. 2 game approaches.
“I think that’s the key for the Super Bowl this year,” said Tuchman, who has worked events for the past 15 Super Bowls. “It’s not so much about premium luxury like it’s been in the past. What people are playing for is warmth -- that’s why you have a value of 100 percent over what you might see in other years.”
The NFL itself still has some suites available at $400,000, according to a league spokesperson. The suites include food and beverage, parking, and access to pregame parties and some NFL events earlier in the week, like NFL Honors at Radio City Music Hall.
MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010, has 220 total suites. That’s more than most NFL stadiums by far, and almost all new stadiums are built with the suite experience in sharp focus to maximize return on the cost of construction.
The suites at MetLife Stadium can hold anywhere from 12 to 30 people. Most offer outdoor seats in addition to a climate-controlled lounge with televisions and catering, according to NFL vice president of events, Frank Supovitz.
“There is a warm place to go,” Supovitz said.
MetLife is unique in that two teams play regular-season games at the stadium, so there are two sets of suite owners, but neither set got a Super Bowl suite as part of their buy when the New York/New Jersey Host Committee structured the Super Bowl bid in 2010.
“Part of what was offered in the [Super Bowl] bid was the NFL has half of the suites and the host committee has half the suites,” Supovitz said. “Now the host committee is using those suites to sell to generate the revenue they need to undertake their part of the Super Bowl and we’re doing the same thing. Jets and Giants suite holders are not involved in this.”
Steve Rosner, who is a co-founder of 16W Marketing, said part of what will drive the market this year at a New Jersey Super Bowl is the weather. When an average night could be 20 degrees with an unfriendly Meadowlands wind, people and corporations might be willing to pay more for a ticket that guarantees comfort.
“Will you have an enjoyable experience?” Rosner said.
If you aren’t a Green Bay season ticket-holder, the answer may be no. If you are entertaining a CEO, you might not ask her or him to sit outside or four hours on a cold night. And New York and New Jersey are both home to many corporate entities that may decide to use the hometown Super Bowl in order to entertain clients.
“I have no doubt the demand will be there, especially as more snow like this falls and people start saying they want indoor access,” Tuchman said.
MetLife also has club areas for some ticket holders, which would offer respite from the cold, but not the same ability to watch the game on the field from inside. Still, at an estimated $7,000 and up, according to Tuchman, the club seats are a cheaper way to get out of the cold.
That warm suite will simply cost you the median price of a modest house in the New York City suburbs. And rather than being the investment of a lifetime, it’s an investment of roughly six hours. Tuchman said Wall Street had a good year, however, and the Super Bowl is a way for companies to celebrate corporate relationships and entertain clients.
And for a truly enjoyable experience on the night of the Super Bowl, the luxury option will be climate-controlled.
Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.