Super deal: Tickets are part of grand event

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Itís not often that I hold two small pieces of cardboard worth thousands of dollars.

That was the case for two days last week.

When the FedEx deliveryman rang my front doorbell Thursday morning, he knew what was inside the package.

ďHere are your Packer tickets,Ē he said. Inside was an envelope from the Packers.

Inside the envelope were two Super Bowl tickets.

ďYou know how many more of these envelopes you guys had to deliver today?Ē I asked.

He said he thought there were 27 other packages containing the prized tickets.

ďBut I got in later, so there might have been others,Ē he said.

So I wasnít the only one in the area that had their Packer season-ticket account selected to purchase two tickets for Sundayís game. The NFL does not disclose how many tickets they allocate to the two participating teams.

Back on Jan. 3, when the letter from the Packers arrived, I couldnít figure out why I was getting a correspondence from them. I had paid $580 more than a month before for any playoff tickets I would need if the Packers played two playoff games at Green Bay.

I had checked the box indicating they could keep that money and apply it to next yearís tickets (that isnít due until March or April), and I didnít figure they were offering me a contract.

It was a surprise when I discovered what was inside. I was one of the lucky season ticket holders picked to earn the right to buy two of the $800 tickets. The Packers would not cash the check unless the team made it to the Super Bowl.

When Janesville resident Pat Sauser, her husband, and friends went to the Super Bowl I back in 1967, tickets were $12 each.

By 1975, tickets were $20 each. Adjusting for 36 years of inflation, those tickets would be $81.06 today. However, with face value for Sundayís Super Bowl XLV tickets being $600-$1,200, that is a 3,000-to 6,000-percent increase.

In other words, buy Super Bowl ticket futures.

Iíve been a Packer season ticket holder since 2003. This is the first time Iíve been picked. Not only do you have to be picked, but also the Packers have to make it.

I honestly felt, even with three road games in front of them, that they would make it.

And I never really had the urge to go to Arlington, Texas.

If it had been in New Orleans, I seriously would have considered going. Maybe even San Diego or Miami.

Arlington might be a great place, but I donít ever plan to vacation there, and I wasnít going to take out a second mortgage to watch a football game there, even if it is a Super Bowl.

Looking at the expenses you have to ring up to truly do the Super Bowl, I decided to sell the tickets.

Last week, the most expensive item listed on StubHub was a catered suite on the Owners Club Level of the stadium, for 25 people. Asking price? Try $646,958.

Parking spaces are going for $900 next to Jerry Jonesí palaceóthe new Cowboy Stadium.

Iím a newspaper guy in Janesville. I can afford Packer season tickets, where you park for $15, drink your own beer outside the stadium, and maybe eat a hot dog with kraut for $5 inside the stadium.

I canít afford $900 for a parking space in Arlington, Texas. Or $1,000 a night for a hotel room that normally goes for $75 a night.

That is where Greg Hughes, the person who purchased my tickets, is staying. Luckily, the Janesville native travels enough with his job in Atlanta that he has earned enough points to stay free.

Greg, who I have know for a few years, worked his way up through Turner Broadcasting to the position of Senior Vice President, Turner Sports and Atlanta Braves Public Relations and Communications. He now runs his own public relations company.

He went to 11 straight Super Bowls from 1991-2001 while he was with Turner. This is his first one since then.

I ran into Greg two weekends ago when he was back in town after he, his cousin, Brian Hughes, and Rick Cole, purchased Jumboís Pub. I mentioned to Gregówho was headed to the Packer-Bear championship game the next dayóthat I had two Super Bowl tickets coming if Green Bay prevailed.

He jumped at the chance to buy them.

We wonít disclose the price, but itís more than face value.

Where are these $800 tickets located in the stadium? They are in the 400 section. Thatís the fourth deck up, at the 10-yard line.

You might think season ticket holders of the teams playing in the Super Bowl would have a little clout.

Greg and his wife, Lisa, are going to be in those seats. They are staying until Tuesday. One-way tickets from Dallas to Atlanta on Monday were $700 each. For flights Tuesday, the price is $115.

Supply and demand.

Greg, who is flying into Dallas from Las Vegas on Sunday morning, says heís spending more money to attend the game than it cost for his group to purchase two 63-inch TV sets and other improvements made to Jumboís in preparation for Sundayís crowd.

Me? Iím going to the Watering Hole for a private party (as I have for years) and watch the Packers win. Then Iím going to be at my desk, working on Monday morningís sports section.

Someday Iíll go to the Super Bowl. It will be somewhere where there is no threat of an ice storm.

Tom Miller is a sports writer/page designer for the Janesville Gazette.

Last updated: 4:36 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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