Sports News – Now that we know it will be the New England Patriots facing off against the Atlanta Falcons for Super Bowl LI in Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday, February 5, it’s time to strategize how to get to the game.
JetBlue, Delta, American, Southwest and United Airlines have added some extra flights to accommodate all those fans who want to get to Houston.
JetBlue, the official airline of the New England Patriots, will make an extra run to Houston’s William P. Hobby from Boston Logan International on Friday afternoon February 3, with a return flight scheduled for Monday afternoon, February 6. The airline has also added one non-stop flight to HOU from Providence, R.I. on Super Bowl weekend, even though that’s not one of the carrier’s regular non-stop routes.
Delta Air Lines is adding flights to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport from Boston, Hartford, Providence and Atlanta.
On Monday morning, Hopper’s data science team ran some numbers for Super Bowl-week flights to Houston, taking the average flight price from all airports in Georgia and all airports in New England.
With some low-cost airlines in the mix, they found $160 average round trip fares from Falcons territory and $286 from New England.
The dates searched vary, but as you may imagine, the prices spike for arrivals on Friday 3 February with Monday departures.
On Monday, Priceline’s data crunchers also ran flight searches and found the average round trip to Houston for Super Bowl weekend, flying on Friday 3 and returning on Monday 6 to be $719 from New York, $717 from Boston, $454 from Los Angeles and $662 from Atlanta.
Fares drop considerably, in some cases up to 50 percent, for flight searches to Houston on Saturday, February 4 and out on Tuesday, February 7, when Priceline found fares of $326 from New York, $366 from Boston, $206 from Los Angeles and $334 from Atlanta.
Priceline also ran hotel rate searches and found that lodging near the stadium will cost upwards of $700 a night for a three-star hotel.
Fans willing to commute to the stadium and stay instead at a hotel near George Bush Intercontinental Airport will find less expensive room rates.
“A 2.5 star hotel located near IAH airport is available for as low as $139 a night,” notes Priceline, “which is a 57 percent decrease from the cost of hotels near the stadium.”
Visit Houston doesn’t have preferred rates for Super Bowl visitors, but instead urges fans to use their favorite online search tools to find a property that fits their budget and needs.
When searching, go beyond “downtown” and look for properties in neighborhoods such as Galleria/Uptown, Medical Center/NRG Park, Clear Lake/Bay Area, Hobby Airport, Bush Airport and City Center area, which Visit Houston spokesman A.J. Mistretta notes is different from “Downtown.”
Need a Ticket to the Game?
On Tuesday, Ticketmaster’s Ticket Exchange had 491 Super Bowl tickets for sale ranging in price from $3,495 to $115,000 per ticket, while a quick search on StubHub found tickets ranging from $2,850 to $10,997 each.
Of course, you don’t need to actually attend the Super Bowl game to enjoy your time in Houston.
Visit Houston expects about one million people (local and visitors) to visit some of the events offered during the multi-block, 9-day free festival known as Super Bowl LIVE, which features live music and a variety of activities and attractions.
There’s also the NFL Experience, which is a ticketed event ($35 for adults; $25 for kids 12 and under) held inside the George R. Brown Convention Center with a schedule that includes interactive games, youth football clinics, autograph sessions and a merchandise-filled NFL Shop where you can spend all that money you didn’t spend on a seat inside the stadium
by HARRIET BASKAS, NBCNews.com