EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Those lucky enough to own Super Bowl XLVIII tickets better have some money left over for food and drink.
When MetLife Stadium’s gates swung open Sunday afternoon, fans (and media who couldn’t brave the press-box hot dogs) were greeted by double-digit prices on even the most basic foodstuffs. Want a footlong hot dog? It’s $13. Want a brisket sandwich? It’s $13. Sensing a theme here?
Fans looking to wash down those valuable vittles with a cold one also have to pay up. A bottle of Bud or Bud Light costs $12. Bumping up to Stella Artois, Goose Island, Guinness or Leinenkugel costs $16. That’s not for a six-pack. That’s for one beer.
Hot chocolate sales didn’t seem brisk, either because of the unexpected warmer weather or the $11 sticker price. Fans willing to pay an extra $9 can walk away with a souvenir mug, resplendent in faux pigskin. One enterprising slinger made it a point to say the $20 covered the mug AND the hot chocolate. Well, that’s awfully nice of him.
While fans might groan at the possibility of hundreds more spent at the game (one style of hoodie cost $100), they were giddy about MetLife’s wide-open concourses, spectacular vistas and plentiful facilities. People were moving about without much of an issue or a care, posing for pictures and sneaking to the lower levels for an up-close view of the field. The Broadway cast of “Rock of Ages” entertained fans on one side of a plaza with a 1980s rock medley, while ice carvers on the other side used chainsaws to sculpt Super Bowl scenes.
Jim Zorn, who quarterbacked the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 to 1984, was all smiles as he entered the stadium, reflecting the mood of both teams’ fans, who hoped they were just hours away from championship glory. One Denver Broncos fan in particular was amazed after experiencing a moment rarely seen at a sporting event. Stepping out of a 100-level restroom, she exclaimed to her friends: “There was no one in there. I mean, no one!”
See what charging $16 for a beer can do?