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General News    H1'ed 2/3/13

Numbering the Super Bowl

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NFL logo for Super Bowl XLVII
NFL logo for Super Bowl XLVII
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e="NFL logo for Super Bowl XLVII" class="wwscontentsmaller">NFL logo for Super Bowl XLVII by NFL


by Walter Brasch


There are a lot of numbers for this weekend's Super Bowl. Let's begin with ticket prices.

Tickets are $850 to $1250. That's right. $850 to $1250 per ticket. That's if you can find one. Most tickets are bought by the super-wealthy and corporations, and then deducted as business expenses.

If you're desperate, scalpers can get you a ticket for the upper decks for somewhere between $2,000 and $5,0000.

A suite in the 400 level goes for between $100,000 and $300,000. It's also tax-deductible for most who want to bring a few of their closest friends and business associates. The first Super Bowl tickets in 1967 maxed out at just $12 a seat.

Hotel rooms cost a minimum of $400 a night, and escalate into the thousands. Want to rent a house near the game? Several are going for $10,000--$15,000 for the week.

If you want to place a bet, that's just between you and your friendly neighborhood bookie. If you plan to do it legally in Vegas, you'll be among thousands who spend $90 million.

Let's say you want to just stay home and join 110 million others watching the game on your TV. All of them will watch a plethora of 30 second ads, each one costing almost $4 million. And that doesn't include production costs. In contrast, the first Super Bowl ads cost about $42,000 for 30 seconds.

As in most Super Bowls, the Anheuser-Busch leads the league in ad placement. This year, it bought four and one-half minutes of air time, as hefty a buy as its much-loved Clydesdales.

About eight million TV sets will be bought in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Probably 10 percent or more big-screen TVs will be returned to the store in the week after the Super Bowl.

The fans will buy about $ 1 billion in snacks. This includes about 53 million cases of beer and 1.2 billion wings. Domino's alone will be delivering about 1.4 million pizza on game day. Americans--even racists who don't want any more Hispanics in the U.S. -- will dip millions of pounds of nacho chips into 80 million pounds of guacamole.

About 5,200 media credentials have been issued. That's 5,200 persons from the media whose newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and even Internet websites, have paid a small nation's gross domestic product so they can cover the Super Bowl.

We recognize that the Super Bowl is America's party. A time to forget the blizzards and winds of war. But, wouldn't it be nice if the rest of the year, we could get 5,200 members of the media to better cover poverty, homelessness, social injustice, education, labor issues, the economy, and even improve their coverage of politics?

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Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)

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