Nestled in the romantic confines of East Rutherford, New Jersey, is the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium.
  • Nestled in the romantic confines of East Rutherford, New Jersey, is the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium.
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Super Bowl 48 will be played in the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium, which is nestled within the romantic confines of East Rutherford, New Jersey. According to the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee, the February 2 Super Bowl will be the most expensive ever played. The committee will spend $70 million putting on a 60-minute football game plus miscellaneous activities. Said activities include closing Broadway, literally shutting down the heart of NYC, for 13 blocks. The stretch from Times Square to Herald Square will be closed to traffic from noon until 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The roadway will be renamed Super Bowl Boulevard and a giant pop-up shopping mall will rise from its hallowed asphalt. The mall will provide opportunities to shop for Super Bowl gear, watch NFL propaganda films, stand, hat in hand, before the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and meet “trained tourism professionals who can provide suggestions on everything from restaurants in the area to must-see sights in NYC’s outer boroughs.”

Super Bowl Boulevard, more than any other detail, gives you an idea how big the Super Bowl has become. Can you imagine any other event, from inaugurating a president, to burying a president, to celebrating the end of World War II, that would have the juice to shut down Times Square for four days?

There’s still time to watch the Super Bowl in person. StubHub is offering a full lineup of MetLife Stadium suites. These suites are good for one game only, Super Bowl XLVIII. The last time I looked, StubHub suites were being offered from $610,000 to more than $1 million. Still, it’s always wise to shop around. SeatGeek is selling a Commissioner’s Club Suite, top-of-the-line stuff, for $826,000. That won’t last long.

The New York Times reports, “...the NFL is working with more than 100 law enforcement agencies to protect the weeklong extravaganza. The league is also spending more than $10 million to hire thousands of private security officers to patrol MetLife Stadium, Super Bowl Boulevard, and elsewhere.”

It’s taken 10,000 workers a month to get the stadium ready. “Two sets of chain-link fences four miles long ranging from six to eight feet high will surround MetLife Stadium. There will be ‘welcome pavilions’ containing 130 metal detectors placed just outside those fences. Fans will have their tickets scanned and go through security on game day. During the week leading up to the game, train and bus stations will have more screening, a 300-foot barrier and lock-down zone will be established around the stadium, and every vehicle entering the stadium property will be searched.”

Newspapers are pulling reporters from local city halls because they can’t afford to keep even one lousy journalist onsite. There are more than 5000 credentialed media covering Super Bowl 48.

The 5000 number is what got through the maze and received their credential. Twenty thousand people applied for credentials, the FBI ran a background check on every one of them.

You know you’re spending your money right when you buy a ticket to the Super Bowl and then watch the game on TV. Regard “Fandeavor, the Gameday Experience Company.” For $17,995 per person, you get “The Green Room Experience.” “The Green Room is the best experience inside the stadium. This ultra-exclusive lounge features an inclusive premium bar, inclusive upscale food, and a private area equipped with multiple flat screens to watch the game....”

But why hassle flying to the East Coast? Instead, take an easy freeway drive to Las Vegas, hie thee to the Wynn Encore hotel and its Surrender Nightclub. For $35,000 you get a table that seats up to 20 people. This is only the beginning. You also get four complimentary bottles with table mixers. It’s tacky to ask how many table mixers you get or what’s in the four bottles or how long that’s going to last with 20 people at the trough. No worries, I’m sure it will be a wonderful experience. Now, then, hold your breath...you also get 24 Coors Light beers! I’m talking exclusivity, people! Add the 24 Coors Light beers to the table mixers, the four complimentary bottles of something, plus, the privilege of sitting at a Surrender Nightclub table, and it becomes almost too much to take in.

But, wait, there’s more! In addition to all the above, you get 12 waters and 12 Red Bulls. HOW CAN THEY DO THAT AND STILL MAKE A DOLLAR?! And, yet, there’s still more: you also get one bottle of Armand De Brignac, which I just priced on wine.com at $299.99.

With all that liquid magic, who needs food?

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Comments

aardvark Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:07 a.m.

And they want to build a new stadium in San Diego, and host Super Bowls here again.

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dwbat Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:34 a.m.

So we would have to spend wheelbarrows full of cash, and still not enjoy seeing Bieber or Lindsay Lohan cavorting there? What a ripoff! I'm soooo NOT there.

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Frederick Simson Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:25 p.m.

Just what is it going to take to block taxpayer dollars from disappearing into this black hole here in San Diego?

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Visduh Jan. 27, 2014 @ 8:26 a.m.

At the risk of speaking heresy, the weird grip of the Super Bowl on society is unprecedented in my lifetime. A mere less-than-fifty-year period has taken that game from one of a showdown competition to a secular holiday. Weeks ahead of the day, advertisers start a drumbeat of cajolery about how to host the big gathering, the food to eat, the drink to drink, the decorations, and the inevitable letdown for those who rooted for the losing team. (If there was one benefit of it, it was to push Valentine's Day into the shadows for many sports fans, who can think of nothing but the SB game during the run up.) So, with this sort of grip on the minds of so many, is it any wonder that it costs so much to put one on? And since it is so very, very important, doesn't it deserve to be done to the nth degree?

Just about the time we all may conclude that the craziness will just get worse every year into perpetuity, something may happen to dial down the fervor by fans for pro football, and football in general. When trends max out, it is hard to see the top, but there is a distinct possibility that the Super Bowl has gone about as far as it can go, and will recede in importance. Yep, heresy. As far as San Diego goes, all this current political scandal and turbulence may cause deadlock, which when combined with the fact that the city and/or county can not afford such foolishness, could result in nothing changing. Sadly, at this time, no politician can utter such sentiments without facing defeat at the polls, so whether one mayoral candidate actually favors a new stadium or not is immaterial. He will say he wants to "keep the Chargers" and to "have more Super Bowls" to give the impression that he's as ga-ga as the typical fan, and would support a giveaway.

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