More Information About How the Big Game Hits Your Wallets

To say that football fans are invested in the Super Bowl is an understatement. We spend dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars supporting our favorite teams from voluntary off-season workouts through the 16-week season and, hopefully, deep into the playoffs. And if our squad is fortunate enough to reach the big game, many of us are willing to drop everything – from responsibilities to a lot of cash – in order to savor the moment.

And while you might expect curbed enthusiasm this year, as the Super Bowl follows up its golden-anniversary game with a matchup featuring the New England Patriots for the seventh time in 15 years, ticket prices and advertising dollars say otherwise. Plus, you don’t need to be a fan of the Patriots or the opposing Atlanta Falcons to have a vested interest in this spectacle of American culture.

Read on for a glimpse at how the Super Bowl impacts our wallets in all sorts of ways.
1. $4,300 per ticket: Less than a week before kickoff, the average Super Bowl LI ticket is selling for $4,284, according to StubHub, with remaining tickets ranging from $1,500 to $15,432. To put those figures in perspective, the average ticket to this year’s Super Bowl costs about as much as three months of mortgage payments for the average homebuyer these days, who has a roughly $300,000 loan and a 4.19 percent APR , according to data from Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association. And the most expensive ticket would cover more than 10 months of mortgage payments.

Super Bowl tickets aren’t just pricey relative to home loans, either. Tickets to the previous four Super Bowls averaged $3,334, which is well above the $2,837 record for a World Series game, set just a few months ago for the historic Game 7 matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, according to TicketIQ.

2. $2,000 or more on travel: A last-minute trip to Houston for the Super Bowl could cost you dearly, depending on where you’re coming from. For example, the cheapest flight on from New York to Houston, leaving on Feb. 3 and returning Monday, costs more than $1,000 per person. And the cheapest option out of Los Angeles is more than $670.

The travel expenses certainly don’t stop there, either. The average out-of-town visitor to this year’s Super Bowl is expected to spend about $1,360, based on the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s projection of 140,000 out-of-towners and PWC’s forecast of $190 million in direct spending.

As a result, each Super Bowl attendee can expect to shell out at least $2,000 on travel-related expenses.

3. $424 million in chicken wings: Roughly 112 million people in the U.S. tuned into Super Bowl 50 last year, according to Nielsen. But we weren’t just watching. We also did our fair share of eating, too, scarfing down 1.3 billion chicken wings, according to the National Chicken Council. That’s works out to more than 162 million pounds of chicken, 11 wings per viewer and $424.4 million spent overall.

4. $60 million in booze: Americans spend about $60 million more than normal on beer, wine and spirits the week leading up to the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen and The New York Times. That’s an extra $0.53 per viewer, including those who are underage as well as nondrinkers.

5. $400 million in gambling losses: A record $132.54 million was wagered on Super Bowl 50 at Nevada sportsbooks, according to Nevada Gaming Control Board, which also found that the house profited to the tune of $13.31 million. That obviously represents just a drop in the bucket of total Super Bowl betting, as illegal wagers pushed the amount risked above $4 billion, according to the American Gaming Association.

But the official numbers do show how much gamblers of all kinds stand to lose on Super Sunday: about 10 percent.
6. $312 million in lost wages: Around 1.5 million people call in sick to work the Monday after the Super Bowl. That amounts to $208 for the average private-industry worker without paid sick leave, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and $312 million overall.

Finally, while football fans are in orbit as the Super Bowl returns to Space City for the third time, the stock market might not continue soaring for much longer if the Patriots win. The Super Bowl stock market indicator, which has been right 82 percent of the time, says the market will fall with an AFC win and rise if the NFC comes out on top. So if you’re invested in more than football, you might want to pull for the Falcons.