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12 things you need to know if you’re traveling to the Big Game

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — When the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, thousands of fans will be there cheering on their favorite team.

Here are the 12 things you need to know if you’re traveling to Atlanta for the Big Game:

1. Tickets are available, but they’ll cost you. – The cheapest seat on StubHub is $3,300 (as of  Tuesday afternoon). If you want to be close to the 50 yard line, get ready to shell out about $12,500 per ticket. StubHub is an authorized ticket resale marketplace for the NFL.

“We’re seeing healthy demand from the two states that represent the teams, so you know you’re getting fans,” said StubHub’s Akshay Khanna. “You’re not just getting people who want to go to the Super Bowl.”

2. You can live the “suite” life. – If you are willing to part with a serious chunk of change, you can watch the Super Bowl from the privacy of your own suite in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Several companies that have leased the suites from the stadium are trying to sell their Super Bowl access. Currently, prices through Suite Experience Group range from $65,000 for a loge box for six to about $700,000 for thirty people. 

“The suite market works a little bit different than the ticket market,” Suite Experience Group CEO Scott Spencer explained. “Oftentimes in the ticket market, they’ll ride it all the way down to the hour before the game and try to have a fire sale. The companies that own these suites aren’t really willing to do that, so the prices will probably stay a little bit higher and if they can’t sell it with three or four days to go, then they’ll invite their own clients.”

3. Airlines are adding extra flights for fans. – Delta and Southwest have added direct routes for Super Bowl weekend from Logan Airport to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“These extra flights meet higher demand as fans make plans to follow their teams to Atlanta to watch the biggest football game of the year,” said Brook Sorem, Senior Director of Network Planning for Southwest. 

4. Get to the airport early for your flight home. – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, with more than 100 million travelers passing through each year. The airport is anticipating an “extremely busy” travel day on Monday, Feb. 4, and is suggesting travelers to get to airport three hours prior to their departures. 

5. A road trip to Atlanta will take the better part of a day. – The distance between our Eyewitness News studio in East Providence to Mercedes-Benz Stadium is 1,063 miles. Google Maps estimates the trip would take 16 hours and two minutes.

6. Plan for road closures. – Road closures around Mercedes-Benz Stadium started on Monday, Jan. 21. Here’s a map.

7. You may not need a rental car. – Atlanta has a rapid transit system known as MARTA, which is expanding service to accomodate the influx of fans. Bike shares and ride shares are also an option, and according to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, there will also be designated drop-off and pick-up locations near the stadium for Uber and Lyft riders.

8. Hotels in downtown Atlanta have been sold out for months. – According to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, there are about 97,000 hotel rooms in the city. “Most of this inventory was committed six months to a year ago,” the bureau’s CEO, William Pate, said. “There is still availability outside the Perimeter, which is about a 20-minute drive from downtown.”

9. It will be a lucrative weekend for Airbnb hosts. – According to the company, Airbnb hosts in the Atlanta area are expected to earn $1.35 million between Jan. 27 and Feb. 3. The company said it is providing hosts with information on “fair and reasonable pricing for their listings, trust and safety tips, and standards for an exceptional hospitality experience.”

10. Pack for warm(ish) weather. – Warm is relative, but coming from New England, Atlanta will be downright comfortable. According to the Pinpoint Weather Team, the average high temperature in Atlanta in February is 54 degrees. The average low is 36 degrees.

11. Concessions in the stadium won’t break the bank. – Hot dogs, soda and pretzels cost $2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The venue calls it “Fan First” pricing. According to the stadium’s website, menu prices won’t go up for any event, including the Super Bowl.

12. You don’t have to have tickets to the Big Bame to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities. – Check out Super Bowl LIVE, the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee’s free fan village at Centennial Olympic Park. Fans can also visit the Super Bowl Experience at the Georgia World Congress Center. You’ll need to buy a ticket to get in.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

In-Depth Patriots Coverage: New England Nation » | The Big Game » | Double O.T. »

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