This past weekend I went to Phoenix for Super Bowl XLIX.
Actually, not really.
I didn’t have a ticket to the game and, since I’m neither a fan of the Patriots or the Seahawks, I had zero motivation to shill out the cash for one. I watched the game on TV just like the rest of you, only it was within a few miles of where the biggest event in American sports was taking place at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Cities like Phoenix throw down hard for the Super Bowl, which brings in millions and millions of dollars from fans looking to party and binge on football for a weekend. You don’t have to have a ticket to the game to enjoy yourself, either; there are all sorts of experiences one can immerse oneself in, from free concerts all around the city to the mega-packed NFL fan experiences at Super Bowl Central in Downtown Phoenix.
1. There is an area about a quarter mile from University of Phoenix stadium where reselling tickets for the Super Bowl is permitted. My initial thought on Sunday morning was “Hahaha how great of a story would it be if I was able to buy a ticket to the Super Bowl for $100?” Prices on Stubhub at the time were in the tens of thousands of dollars:
The reselling area was, predictably, mobbed with people looking for tickets. I asked the first person I saw selling how much they were apiece.
“10 per ticket.”
$10,000, that is. This was about five minutes before the flyover, signaling the National Anthem and the game was about to start. A few minutes later, with demand arguably at its peak with the game about to start, I watched one Patriots fan with deep pockets fork over $11,000 a piece, cash, to a scalper. A few minutes later, pandaemonium started unfolding in the crowd of buyers/sellers. A guy took off running and was tackled by two men: One in a Patriots jersey and one in a Seahawks jersey. Police came over and arrested him.
There were two rumors in the mob: The first one I heard was that it was a scalper who tried to sell a fake ticket to a guy for $8,000. While the buyer was inspecting the fake ticket, the scalper/crook took off running with the money. The other rumor in the reselling scrum was that this man grabbed a ticket out of someone’s hands and then took off running, presumably looking for an opportunity to resell it for cash. He wasn’t wearing any fan gear, so I don’t think entry into the game was high on his priority list.
I left about five minutes into the first quarter to watch the game in the nearby Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale. Even though the game had already started, tickets were still selling for thousands of dollars a piece. I headed back to the reselling area towards the end of the second quarter, right before Katy Perry’s half-time show. There were only a few scalpers left. One asked me how much I was looking to spend:
He laughed in my face.
“Half the game is over.”
“Three grand AT LEAST, Bro.”
I took an Uber back to downtown Phoenix to watch the game at a bar with friends.
Conclusion: Super Bowl tickets are some of the world’s most valuable currency.
2. Bars in the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale — about a half-mile from the University of Phoenix Stadium, by the arena that the Coyotes play in — were charging a $200 cover fee per person just to watch the game. Some even more as part of open bar/food feals. Those ABSURD prices resulted in a lot of people gathering in the central pedestrian mall of Westgate to watch on bar TVs from outside. I think we can all agree that’s a ridiculous price to watch a game at a bar on TV.
3. Phoenix, all of your Uber drivers are the weirdest people on the planet. I don’t think I had a single one who wasn’t a little bit looney.
4. Instagram celebrity @TheFatJewish wears sweatpants in public like a total fucking rockstar. My colleague J.Camm hit the nail on this head with this one.
— brandon wenerd (@brandonwenerd) February 1, 2015
5. Seahawks fans are so weird.
6. The most adorable thing ever happens when the ref throws a flag for unnecessary ruff!-ness in the Puppy Bowl.
7. Nelly being Nelly. More on that later this week.
8.. This Bro was so inspired by the Bud Light #upforwhatever ad campaign that he got an #upforwhatever tattoo. Just so you know, he’s one of the stars of the Bud Light commercial.
9. Mega air-powered cornhole guns are rad as shit. Someone needs to throw a massive party with these in a field. Maybe it can be a new “fest” at Ohio University or something.